LSO, Encore Theatre to receive art grants

May 19—LIMA — A couple of local enterprises were among the recipients of arts grants announced by the state of Ohio on May 12.

Amil Tellers, the owner and operator of Lima's Encore Theatre, and the Lima Symphony Orchestra received $16,498.50 and $75,522, respectively, as part of the Ohio Arts Economic Relief Grant Program round one investments, totaling $23 million for 139 organizations around the state.

"Our board was excited to receive the news of the award of the Ohio Arts Economic Relief Grant," Diane Finn, Treasurer of the Encore Theatre, said.

"The Lima Symphony is incredibly grateful to Governor DeWine, the Ohio Legislature, and the Department of Development for recognizing the business crisis faced by Ohio's creative industries," Executive Director of the LSO Elizabeth Brown-Ellis said.

Both venues said that the pandemic hit them hard and that the funds would be useful for helping them recover from the circumstances that are still affecting their finances.

"We were the first to close and the last to reopen during the Covid-19 pandemic, and our highly skilled workforce was disproportionately affected by the shutdown," Brown-Ellis added. "These Arts Economic Relief Grants will cover our earned income losses, restoring us to pre-pandemic levels and ensuring we can continue to fill our community with music. This grant will make up the deficits of the previous two years so we are financially healthy as we enter our ambitious 2023-2024 season."

"The grant is to be used to offset our mortgage, utilities and other production related operating costs," Finn said. "This is very helpful as we continue to recover from the effects the closures and reduction of allowable audience sizes that we encountered during the pandemic. Our audiences have not yet returned to our pre-pandemic levels and this money helps ease the funding burden that every arts organization and non-profit organization has faced the past few years."

"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," Governor Mike DeWine said in a statement. "These grants will help ensure that communities continue to have access to the programming and learning experiences Ohioans love."

According to the announcement, more than 400 organizations around the state applied for funding, which comes from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Reach Jacob Espinosa at 567-242-0399.