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Delaware Division of the Arts awards $753K in American Rescue Plan Act funds

The Delaware Division of the Arts has awarded thousands of dollars in American Rescue Plan Act Funds.

Last year, the Division of the Arts received $753,000 in ARPA funds through the National Endowment for the Arts.

And the Division is sending those funds to 36 arts organizations and 13 individual artists.

Division director Jessica Ball says the almost two- year-old pandemic has really hit the arts sector hard, making these funds critical for First State arts organizations.

“The arts were definitely among the disproportionately impacted businesses in Delaware," said Ball. "You know, the arts are in the business of bringing people together in large groups usually to gather and come together to enjoy arts exhibits and performances.”

Ball notes these ARPA dollars and other federal relief have been essential in keeping many organizations afloat heading into 2022.

The ARPA grants to organizations ranged in size from $5,000 to $45,000. Those awarded to the individual artists provided $15,000 to support them in the production and presentation of community-focused artistic projects through June 30th this year.

Ball says organizations in places like Hockessin, Wilmington, Dover and Milford are using the money to pay staff and contractors, as well as cover artists’ fees.

She notes the funding only replaces a small portion of the revenue arts organizations generate. And individual artists continue to see their opportunities postponed or canceled by the pandemic.

But she hopes it will provide a lifeline to keep them afloat into 2022, allowing them to continue their contributions to communities, schools and businesses and add value to the Delaware economy.

Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.