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Arts Council of Greater New Haven awards $255,000 in grants to small, struggling arts organizations

The Huneebee Project in New Haven is one of more than three dozen arts organizations in Greater New Haven that received a share of $255,000 in federal grant money.

More than three dozen arts organizations in and around New Haven are sharing $255,000 of federal grant money to sustain business as the pandemic drags on.

The Arts Council of Greater New Haven received $500,000 – the maximum awarded – through the federal American Rescue Plan. The council and the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council in Torrington are just two organizations statewide to have received funding.

In New Haven, the council will direct part of the grant toward workforce training and another to fund and train individual artists. The biggest part -- $255,000 -- is going to small-budget arts organizations in Greater New Haven via what’s called resiliency grants.

“People start to forget about the pandemic and think that everything’s back to normal,” said Sarah Ficca, the council’s communications manager. “But these organizations have had a deep ripple effect from not having in-person fundraisers and not having the same kind of interactions with their donors.”

Thirty-eight arts organizations will receive between $3,000 and $15,000 each to be used over two years, said Megan Manton, the council’s development director. The organizations have budgets under $750,000 — three-quarters have budgets under $250,000. Manton emphasized that the organizations are trying to stay alive.

“I think a lot of these organizations are still in need, but are still doing really wonderful work in the community,” Manton said. “And that’s the point. We want to help so they don’t, you know, skip another year of doing programming, or, you know, can’t pay a staff member.”

New Haven’s Artspace, Hamden’s Best Video Film and Cultural Center, the Elm City Freddy Fixer Parade Committee, Madison’s Lyric Stage, and Hamden’s Jamaican American Connection are among the list of recipients.

A full list of awardees is available at newhavenarts.org.

Jeff Cohen started in newspapers in 2001 and joined Connecticut Public in 2010, where he worked as a reporter and fill-in host. In 2017, he was named news director. Then, in 2022, he became a senior enterprise reporter.

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