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A bailout for the arts

Gov. Jim Douglas announced last week that 42 Vermont arts organizations have received a total of $606,000 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). These taxpayer-funded grants are billed as preserving jobs in Vermont's nonprofit arts sector.

"The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is designed to jumpstart the economy, create and protect jobs, and invest in key priorities," said Douglas. "Like other jobs, arts jobs help individuals and families pay household expenses, put children through college and achieve financial stability."

Through ARRA, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) received $50 million to help restore and preserve jobs in the nonprofit arts sector.

The Vermont Arts Council received $250,000 to support and preserve jobs in Vermont's non-profit arts sector. Some arts organizations were eligible to apply directly to the NEA and/or to the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) for this funding. If approved by one or more grant-maker, the applicant had to choose one. Sixteen Vermont Arts organizations were eligible to apply directly to the NEA. Of these, eight were funded for a total of $341,000. Vermont and Iowa ranked highest in the percentage of applicants funded at 50 percent, though Iowa only had eight applications. Two Vermont organizations applied directly to NEFA and one was funded for $15,000.

The following is a list of recipients by county and grant amounts in New Market Press newspaper circulation areas:

Addison County:

•Friends of the Vergennes Opera House, Vergennes. $4,600 from VAC. To support the positions of executive director and administrative assistant.

•Town Hall Theatre, Middlebury. $9,500 from VAC. To support the position of technical director.

•Vermont Folklife Center, Middlebury. $10,000 from VAC. To support the positions of director of education and archivist.

Chittenden County:

•Burlington City Arts, Burlington. $50,000 from NEA. To support visual arts exhibitions.

•Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Burlington. $50,000 from NEA. To support artist performances

•Jeh Kulu Dance and Drum Theater, Burlington. $5,000 from VAC. To support the position of General Manager Assistant.

•Vermont MIDI Project, Essex Junction. $5,000 from VAC. To support the position of project coordinator.

•Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Burlington. $9,200 from VAC. To support artist fees for 12 musicians.

•Vermont Youth Orchestra Association, Colchester. $6,900 from VAC. To support the position of orchestra manager.

•VSA Arts Vermont, Winooski. $9,200 from VAC. To support artist fees for the "Start with the Arts" program.

Rutland County:

•Paramount Center, Rutland. $9,500 from VAC. To support the position of technical services director.

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