$500,000 awarded to six arts organizations to support economic growth, awareness

$5.3 million in American Rescue Plan funds available to tourism, destination-marketing groups

DANVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – Several area arts arts and entertainment agencies and outlets are receiving federal funding that will help expand the arts and attract tourists. State Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry announced that six arts organizations will receive $500,000 to support economic growth and recovery and that tourism and destination-marketing groups can now apply for $5.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

“Kentucky is a destination for so many great art experiences, and it’s important that this industry has the support it needs to continue to attract travelers from around the globe,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Tourism and arts are huge economic drivers in our commonwealth, and now is our time to invest to ensure Kentucky remains a leader.”

As part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ (NEA) final distribution of ARPA funding, six Kentucky arts organizations were selected by the NEA to receive $500,000 to support jobs, stabilize operations, purchase health and safety supplies and marketing efforts. The six organizations are:

Applications Open for $5.3 million in ARPA Funding
The Governor also announced that applications are now being accepted from tourism and destination-marketing organizations eligible to receive a portion of the $5.3 million in ARPA funding.

“The pandemic has significantly impacted both the arts and tourism industries in Kentucky,” said Secretary Berry. “Our cabinet is committed to supporting our partners by seeking investments that will directly foster economic recovery and allow our communities to attract visitors to Kentucky.”

More than 150 tourism and destination-marketing organizations in Kentucky are eligible to receive funding to directly support economic recovery of the tourism industry. Funding will be distributed by the Department of Tourism beginning the week of March 11 and will be based on the respective county’s share of the overall tourism economic impact according to the 2019 Economic Impact Report.

Eligible tourism and destination-marketing organizations can apply here.

Tourism is an $8.9 billion industry that supports economic growth in both rural and urban communities in Kentucky. Throughout the pandemic, the commonwealth has invested more than $13 million in the tourism industry to strengthen promotional and advertising efforts by encouraging safe travel to Kentucky through the development of new marking campaigns.

The commonwealth has also invested nearly $1.7 million in federal funding in the arts industry to support 120 arts organizations. This also includes an allocation of more than $103,000 directly to 21 Kentucky artists.

Receiving recovery assistance is a game changer, said artist Michelle Hayden in Richmond, because it will allow her to start working immediately with the underserved populations she wants to serve – children, incarcerated people, rural populations and those living in economic poverty.

The Carnegie Center is receiving  a $50,000 grant and the Pioneer Playhouse in Danville also is receiving $50,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts through the American Rescue Plan. The non-profits are among 567 arts organizations across the nation to receive funds from the ARP.

The Carnegie Center’s $50,000 NEA ARP grant will help fund the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative, ensuring the Carnegie provides equitable opportunities for Black writers. The Center will create awareness of the KBWC through marketing and funding staff positions through this support. Likewise, this grant will help the Carnegie Center recover from the pandemic’s negative impact on income by promoting Carnegie classes and events.

The Central Music Academy in Lexington may use its $100,000 to save jobs and to fund operations and facilities, health and safety supplies, and marketing and promotional efforts to encourage attendance and participation.
Pioneer Playhouse, the state’s oldest outdoor theater, may use this funding to save jobs and to fund operations and facilities, health and safety supplies, and marketing and promotional efforts to encourage attendance and participation.
The American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March 2021 when the NEA was provided $135 million for the arts sector.
Central Music Academy Executive Director Erin Walker Bliss stated, “We are so grateful to the NEA for their support of CMA! This funding will be used to support jobs for teaching artists and staff, and manage facilities costs such as rent.”
The Central Music Academy gives free musical training to children who face financial barriers. CMA’s programs are funded entirely from grants and private donations, and there are currently 50+ students on the organization’s waiting list for private music lessons. Students who qualify for CMA take free lessons throughout the year in cello, guitar, violin and other strings; flute, clarinet, and other woodwinds; horn, trumpet, and other brass; and voice, piano, and percussion. Currently, CMA is in the midst of a challenge grant. Through June 30, a private foundation is matching donations dollar-for-dollar, up to $30,000, for any new donors to the organization (https://www.centralmusicacademy.org/donate).
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