Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik have announced more than $23 million in support for arts organizations in Ohio.

The funds are being awarded as part of the first round of the Ohio Arts Economic Relief Grant Program. A total of 139 organizations based in 35 counties are receiving grants. 

The Renaissance Theatre in Mansfield received one of the larger grants awarded under the program.

“Ohio’s arts communities are an integral part of why Ohio stands out as a great place to live and a great place to visit,” said Governor DeWine. “These grants will help ensure that communities continue to have access to the programming and learning experiences Ohioans love.”

“Providing supports to Ohio art organizations and museums underscores our commitment to promoting creativity in our state, which ultimately spurs innovation and encourages economic growth, improving the quality of life across all communities,” said Lt. Governor Husted.

“Our vibrant arts scene is an essential part of who we are,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development. “By supporting the work of our local arts organizations, we’re helping empower our creatives to succeed and showcasing Ohio as the heart of creativity.”

The grant program was created in partnership with the Ohio General Assembly as part of  a bill sponsored by Sen. George Lang (R-West Chester) which was later merged into House Bill 45. A total of $50 million is available through the program, with a second round of funding to be announced in coming weeks. 

Funding can be used to help pay for employee compensation, excluding bonuses; employee recruitment, rehiring, and training expenses; rent or mortgage payments; and operating costs.

More than 400 organizations applied for the grants by the March 31 deadline. To be eligible for grant consideration, applicants must meet one of the conditions below. 

  • Performing arts organizations that produce or present performance in music, comedy, the performing arts, or related fields.
  • Cultural arts museums that have a primary purpose related to exhibiting property for artistic or aesthetic purposes, including painting, drawing, design, sculpture making, ceramic making, printmaking, photography, video and filmmaking, graphic design, architecture, textiles, performing arts or preserving and interpreting the history, art, and culture of popular music and multidisciplinary art forms.

The program is funded as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, and awards were calculated based on organizations’ loss in revenue from 2019 to 2020 and 2021 and their 2022 operating budget. For more information about the program, visit Development.Ohio.Gov/ArtsGrant.

The Renaissance Theatre grant totaled $219,394.30.

By 1812Blockhouse

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