The Delaware Division of the Arts announces the awarding of $2.9 million in grants for fiscal year 2014 to support 109 arts initiatives throughout the state. Twenty-three communities across Delaware from Claymont to Selbyville will receive grants to support arts programming and services, arts education, and related arts marketing and promotion.
The creation of a new Delaware Arts Trust Fund this year recognizes the importance of the arts as an economic driver, and brings Delaware’s public-sector support for the arts closer to the national average of 8 percent of the revenue for nonprofit arts organizations. Working together to achieve this, the Department of State, Governor’s Office and Joint Finance Committee acknowledge that this investment in the economy results in significant returns in both state and local revenues, as indicated in the Americans for the Arts study, Arts & Economic Prosperity IV, released in 2012.
“The state’s investment in the arts makes good business sense because the industry plays a critical role in Delaware's economy," said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. "As one of the state’s top 10 employers, we know that Delaware’s nonprofit arts sector generates more than $142 million annually in economic activity in the state and supports nearly 3,900 full-time equivalent jobs.”
“We understand that investment in the cultural life of our communities strengthens our economy, attracts and retains businesses, and provides a valuable resource to our students,” said Gov. Jack Markell. “A vibrant cultural community supports an enhanced quality of life for all of us, as well as a thriving tourism industry for our visitors.”
Division grants support a variety of projects and programs, from storytelling for preschool reading readiness, to professional performances in dance, theater and music. Delaware museums and art leagues in large and small communities alike receive support for internationally recognized collections as well as local artists and artisans.
“A record number of applicants in this year’s funding cycle confirm the ongoing breadth and depth of arts activity in Delaware. The quality of arts programming remains high, at a time when organizations are striving to build sustainable models based on collaboration, innovation and coordinated programming,” said Paul Weagraff, division director.
Funding for the Division of the Arts to support arts programming in Delaware comes from the Delaware General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
A complete listing of fiscal year 2014 grants can be found at www.artsdel.org/grants/grantawards2014.pdf.