Several New London non-profit arts organizations are receiving grants in support of COVID-19.
The state announced that it will provide $ 9 million in grants to 154 Connecticut nonprofit arts organizations this month as part of a new program to support the state arts community. The program uses federal CARES Act funds from the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
Six of the 154 organizations are based in New London:
- Flock Theater: $ 59,600
- Eastern Connecticut Symphony: $ 56,700
- Garde Arts Center: $ 182,800
- Sanitary Art: $ 13,700
- Thames Valley Music School: $ 11,200
- Writer’s Block InK Incorporated: $ 11,100
According to the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition, arts nonprofits in Southeastern CT have an annual economic impact of $ 168 million.
“You talk about people, you talk about dollars and you also talk about jobs,” said Wendy Bury, executive director of the coalition.
The Garde Arts Center was one of the recipients of the scholarships. The center closed to traditional performances during the pandemic, but they’re getting creative to stay afloat.
The arts center has virtually streamed performances, opened part of its space to city school capsules, and even sold space in their marquee for people to take notes to the community.
The theater got creative during the pandemic. Steve Sigel, executive director, estimates sales have decreased by $ 1.2 million. He said the donors have shown incredible support.
The Guard will use their government grants to cover operating costs.
“Maintain our skeleton staff, cover the costs, and make changes to the building,” Sigel said. “It’s not cheap to be closed.”
The Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, also based in New London, will use its funds to aid in future streaming and digital endeavors.
“This means we can keep adjusting, twisting and figuring out what our model looks like in winter,” said Caleb Bailey, director of the orchestra.
The ECSO got creative even during the pandemic. In the warmer months they could give concerts outdoors.
Both organizations hope that the generous support from the community will continue.
“When this whole thing is finally done, we can close the chapter. We want to make sure we have all the institutions that make life so rich and still available,” said Bailey.