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    Mayor DeStefano Announces 2012 Community Arts Grants Recipients, Funds to Support Arts Programming in Neighborhoods

    (7/23/2012) Mayor John DeStefano Jr. and the City’s Department of Arts, Culture and Tourism announced Monday the recipients of this year’s Mayor’s Community Arts Grants, awarding $25,500 in funding to support 28 neighborhood-based arts and cultural activities.

    The Mayor’s Community Arts Grants Program provides financial, marketing and technical assistance for arts and cultural programs in New Haven neighborhoods. The goals of the program are:

    1. To encourage the education of emerging artists;

    2. To strengthen neighborhood cohesiveness through collaborative programs particularly aimed at families and youth; and

    3. To promote and celebrate cultural awareness and diversity.

    Since its inception in 2000, the Mayor’s Community Arts Grant Program has awarded $325,496 to over 220 arts and cultural projects such as festivals, murals, performances, and apprenticeships.

    Individual artists and non-profit arts and cultural organizations working with neighborhood-based community and/or youth or senior groups within the City of New Haven were eligible to apply. Eligible activities include festivals, parades, exhibitions, murals/public art, children's activities, inter-generational programs, arts education, film, public performances, neighborhood collaborations and apprenticeships. Applicants may apply for up to $1,500.

    Grant amounts this year ranged from $500 to $1,200. These grants are often the only funding source for some of these organizations, some of whom do not qualify for larger grants due to a lack of official non-profit status. While the awards in many cases are modest, they provide some artists and organizations the opportunity to present, teach or practice their art in the City.

    “New Haven is the Cultural Capital of Connecticut, not just for our world renowned museums and theaters downtown, but because of the rich arts and cultural events and organizations that exist in each of our neighborhoods. I look forward to seeing the work of these 28 grant recipients throughout the year. I know they will add vitality to our neighborhoods, and provide enriching opportunities for all residents and children,” said Mayor John DeStefano Jr.

    “Arts organizations of all sizes have a positive impact on a City’s cultural and economic health. The Department of Arts, Culture and Tourism has focused on providing support for arts activities throughout the City, including supporting community-based arts organizations in neighborhoods,” stated Kelly Murphy, the City’s Economic Development Administrator.

    This year DACT received 51 applications in total. Twenty-six community organizations and two individual artists were selected via a competitive process to receive funding in support of a variety of arts and culture related projects. The 2012-2013 awards will fund activities throughout the City, including a playwriting, staging and production program for youth in West Rock; an International Women’s Day concert in Fair Haven; the International Day of Peace celebration in West River; theatrical training for youth in Newhallville; and arts programming for immigrant populations East Rock. A detailed list of activities is attached.

    St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, a recipient of this year’s grant program, operates Your Place Youth Center, a neighborhood community center that uses the arts to facilitate self-expression as a means to build the self esteem of city youth and to reduce violence in the city.

    “We are so pleased to receive an award from the Mayor’s Community Arts Grant Program. The funds awarded will support Hip-Hop Forum Theatre training for our youth. The training will give voice to the young people of the Newhallville community while encouraging them the use their talents to engage the community in positive and meaningful ways,” said Reverend Tracey Johnson Russell of St. Andrews Episcopal Church.

    The Grant Selection Committee is comprised of members of the Cultural Affairs Commission, city arts professionals and community representatives. The criteria required to become a member of the committee is a background in or an interest in arts and culture, knowledge of New Haven’s arts organizations and its neighborhoods. This committee, like the City of New Haven, is diverse. Various ages, neighborhoods and ethnicities are represented.

    The Mayor’s Community Arts Grants Program was established in 2000, and is one of a number of City efforts aimed at supporting local artists and fostering arts and cultural events in New Haven neighborhoods. Those efforts increased last year with the creation of the Winchester Revitalization Art Project, a joint effort of the Department of Arts, Culture and Tourism, the Livable City Initiative and the Office of Economic Development. The project seeks to encourage arts and culture in the

    Newhallville neighborhood through programming on Winchester Avenue and other area venues. The neighborhood-based program seeks to engage the community in positive arts activities that take advantage of vacant city-owned lots and other community spaces.

    Applications for the 2013-2014 grant cycle will be available in March 2013. For more information about the program contact Kim Futrell at (203) 946-7172 or kfutrell@newhavenct.net. or keep track of events at our website at www.cityofnewhaven.com/culturalaffairs or follow us on Facebook http://tinyurl.com/6vq3bso or Twitter www.twitter.com/newhavencultural.

    Contact Name: Elizabeth Benton

    Contact Email: ebenton@newhavenct.net

    Contact Phone: 203-946-7660

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