Mark Twain House, Mystic Aquarium, Playhouse on Park get federal grants

·2 min read

The fourth round of Shuttered Venue Operator Grants were announced this week. Among the latest notable local arts institutions to receive government funds include The Mark Twain House & Museum, Playhouse on Park in West Hartford, the Garde Arts Center in New London and Mystic Aquarium.

The grants, part of the federal American Rescue Plan Act passed in March, are meant to reflect losses that theaters, clubs, production companies and arts promoters lost due to the COVID crisis. Applicants can seek an amount equal to 45% of their revenue for the calendar year 2019.

Catherine Marx, director of the Connecticut District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration, which administers the grants, says that $90 milllion has been distributed now to 122 Connecticut arts businesses.

Nearly all major arts institutions in the state appear to have received funds by now, but more are yet to be announced. The application process is still open, and funds are still available. Nationally, requests total $11.9 billion and $6.8 billion has been distributed so far.

The latest Shuttered Venue Operator Grant recipients, listed by the amount of money received, are:

  • Bow Tie Cinemas, based in Ridgefield, which has 15 locations in six states, including six in Connecticut: $10 million

  • Mystic Aquarium (Sea Research Foundation, Inc.): $6,084,253

  • Ridgefield Playhouse: $2,791,761

  • Garde Arts Center in New London: $836,080

  • The Warner Theater (Northwest Connecticut Association for the Arts) in Torrington: $775,413

  • Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford: $539,129

  • Stamford Symphony Orchestra: $538,953

  • The Prospector Theater cinema (Prospects, Opportunity and Enrichment, Inc.) in Ridgefield: $443,022

  • Platinum Entertainment Group in Cheshire: $393,386

  • The Sharon Playhouse (Tri-State Center for the Arts): $361,519

  • Madison Art Cinemas: $276,298

  • Broadway Method Academy in Fairfield: $249,232

  • Mystic Ballet in Stonington: $217,450

  • Playhouse on Park (Playhouse Theatre Group) in West Hartford: $189,209

  • Connecticut Falun Dafa Association in Guilford: $155,545

  • Center Stage Theatre in Shelton: $150,200

  • Music Without Borders in Stamford: $142,269

  • The State House club in New Haven: $116,233

  • The Palace Theater in Stafford Springs: $32,873

  • Pantochino Productions in West Haven: $31,200

  • Kidsplay Children’s Museum in Torrington: $20,759

  • Emerson Theater Collaborative in Mystic: $10,453

  • New London Maritime Society: $7,139

  • Artist Magnet at Heritage Village in Southbury: $1,808

Christopher Arnott can be reached at

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