Renaissance Theatre to receive $100K grant from National Endowment for the Arts

·3 min read
Renaissance Theatre logo
Renaissance Theatre logo

Theaters and entertainment venues have been some of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Getting a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts will make that hit a bit softer for the Renaissance Theatre.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced Thursday the National Endowment for the Arts awarded grants to 12 arts organizations across Ohio, totaling $1.45 million, to support personnel, facilities, safety supplies and marketing expenses in response to and to help recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“This funding is going to be crucial to helping us continue to serve our community during what has been a very tough few years for everyone,” Renaissance President Chelsie Thompson said. “We’ve been largely shuttered for nearly two years now, and even after reopening, our earned revenue is still only 40% of our 2019 numbers with a long recovery ahead of us as we dig our way out of this pandemic.

"We're grateful for the opportunity that this funding brings to keep our doors open and our artists working to provide the human connections that our community needs right now.”

Renaissance to receive $50,000 in each of next two years

The Renaissance is recommended to receive $50,000 in 2022, with an additional $50,000 in 2023. The funding is intended to save jobs and to fund operations and facilities, and will be used by the Renaissance to purchase health and safety supplies, pay artist fees and assist with the cost of utilities for the historic theater.

In addition, the funding will allow the Renaissance to continue providing arts and culture for Richland County, supporting programming such as live theater, the Mansfield Symphony and educational programming for students and families.

“Our nation’s arts sector has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Endowment for the Arts’ American Rescue Plan funding will help arts organizations, such as Renaissance Theatre, rebuild and reopen,” said Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the NEA. “The arts are crucial in helping America’s communities heal, unite and inspire, as well as essential to our nation’s economic recovery.”

Renaissance CEO Michael Miller said the funding is appreciated.

"We always like when money arrives," he said. "We probably won't see normal audience return for another two years. This kind of helps supplement some of those losses."

Miller said the money was a bit of a shock to Renaissance staffers.

"It was an incredible longshot," he said. "It (chance) of being selected was like less than 7%."

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Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations and develop their creative capacities.

The American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March 2021 when the NEA was provided $135 million for the arts sector. The funding for organizations is the third installment providing more than $57.7 million for arts organizations.

For more information on the NEA’s American Rescue Plan grants, including the full list of arts organizations funded in this announcement, visit www.arts.gov/COVID-19/the-american-rescue-plan.

mcaudill@gannett.com

419-521-7219

Twitter: @MNJCaudill

This article originally appeared on Mansfield News Journal: Mansfield's Renaissance Theatre receiving $100K grant

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