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State agency on arts hands out $256K in Valley

Nearly twice as many arts organizations and schools in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties received grants from the Ohio Arts Council for fiscal year 2024 compared with this year.

The OAC board approved $21.81 million statewide in grants this week for artists, arts / cultural organizations, students, educators and public arts programming. The awards follow the recent passage of the state’s 2024-25 operating budget, which includes a record-setting $51.1 million for the Ohio Arts Council over the next two years.

In the three-county area, the board awarded $256,545 combined to 25 organizations and schools. Last year 13 organizations received about $175,000 in funding.

A big reason for the increase is that nine schools in the Youngstown City School District received TeachArtOhio grants, which fund in-school residencies for teaching artists.

Chaney High School, East Middle School and Rayen Early College Middle School each will get $4,900. Harding, Kirkmere, Martin Luther King Jr., Paul C. Bunn, Taft and Volney Rogers elementary schools each will get $4,200.

Including the schools, Mahoning County organizations will receive a total of $233,228. Other recipients are:

Ballet Western Reserve — $14,741

Butler Institute of American Art — $122,908

Etruscan Press — $3,933

Henry H. Stambaugh Auditorium Association — $5,182

Lit Youngstown — $7,346

McDonough Museum of Art / Youngstown State University — $11,292

Opera Western Reserve — $8,176

Stambaugh Chorus — $4,524

Students Motivated by the Arts / SMARTS — $15,226

Stambaugh and SMARTS received ArtsSTART grants, which funds newer arts and cultural projects. The rest received sustainability grants, which can be used for operating expenses.

Four Trumbull County organizations will receive at total of $12,529:

BRITE Energy Innovators — $4,444

Foundation Medici (Medici Museum of Art) — $3,526

Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership — $1,134

Warren Symphony Society (Warren Philharmonic Orchestra) — $3,425

TNP’s grant is for sustainability. The other three are ArtSTART grants. Only TNP and Medici received OAC grants last year.

Three Columbiana County organizations will receive a total of $10,788:

Lepper Library — $3,558

Stage Left Players Inc. — $6,230

Salem Chamber of Commerce — $1,000

Stage Left’s grant is for sustainability, and the other two are ArtSTART grants.

The $21.8 million is the most grant money distributed to constituents in the Ohio Art Council’s history.

According to OAC Executive Director Donna S. Collins, “Ohio’s arts and culture sector is poised for a strong future as we continue to work together for a full recovery of in-person arts programming, an expansion of arts education to combat pandemic-related learning loss and restoration and growth of career opportunities for arts professionals.”

agray@tribtoday.com

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