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From The Hartford Business Journal


Gov. Ned Lamont announced a state program will distribute $9 million in grant funding to 154 Connecticut arts organizations, with some of the largest sums going to Hartford-based groups.

The grants are funded through a program Lamont announced in October that will provide financial relief to some arts nonprofits. That $9 million comes from federal CARES Act funding from the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund.

“Like nearly every segment of our communities, many of nonprofit arts organizations are struggling to recover from its impact,” Lamont said. “These grants will provide some needed support.”

Dubbed the COVID Relief Fund for the Arts, the fund is being administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). Funds will be available to arts nonprofits that are performing arts centers, schools of arts or performing groups for whom grants will affect their survival and hiring plans; and organizations that have had to curtail operations due to pandemic restrictions.

Organizations that qualify will receive a base grant of $5,000, according to Lamont’s office. Organizations that raised funds between March 10 and Nov. 1 are also eligible for a supplemental match, for which the state will match 50% of the money raised during that period.

Connecticut Players Foundation (also known as Long Wharf Theatre) of New Haven received the largest portion with $551,400; followed by Hartford Stage, which received $542,200 and Horace Bushnell Memorial Hall Corporation (the Bushnell Theatre), which got $480,900.

“The year 2020 has presented unprecedented challenges to Connecticut’s arts organizations and they have risen to the occasion in every possible way,” Liz Shapiro, DECD’s director of arts and museums, said. “[But] it is important to understand that this funding, while certainly helpful, does not solve these organizations’ financial challenges.”

Arts organizations receiving funding through the program in the Greater Hartford region, including Hartford, Tolland, and Middlesex Counties include:

  • ActUp Theater, Hartford, $12,700
  • ARTFARM, Middletown, $7,100
  • Artists Collective, Hartford, $14,700
  • Ballet Theatre Company, West Hartford, $18,700
  • Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts Center, Middletown, $8,600
  • CAST Children’s Theater, Manchester, $15,700
  • Community Music School, Centerbrook, $19,900
  • CONCORA, Hartford, $14,000
  • Connecticut Ballet, Hartford, $18,200
  • Connecticut Valley Symphony Orchestra, Windsor, $6,700
  • Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, New Britain, $18,100
  • Cuatro Puntos, Hartford, $17,100
  • Farmington Valley Arts Center, Avon, $15,400
  • Goodspeed Opera House Foundation, East Haddam, $532,100
  • Greater Middletown Chorale, Middletown, $13,800
  • HartBeat Ensemble, Hartford, $23,700
  • Hartford Artisans Weaving Center, Hartford, $26,600
  • Hartford Chorale, Hartford, $15,100
  • Hartford Performs, Hartford, $72,100
  • Hartford Stage, Hartford, $542,200
  • Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Hartford, $326,600
  • Horace Bushnell Memorial Hall Corporation, Hartford, $480,900
  • Ivoryton Playhouse, Ivoryton, $125,900
  • Judy Dworin Performance Project, Hartford, $37,000
  • Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, Old Saybrook, $111,300
  • Little Theatre of Manchester, Manchester, $30,800
  • Mariachi Academy of New England, Hartford, $7,200
  • Newington Children’s Theatre Company, Newington, $8,300
  • Nutmeg Symphony Orchestra, Bristol, $10,000
  • Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater, Middletown, $28,900
  • Opera House Players, Enfield,  $6,000
  • Playhouse Theatre Group, West Hartford, $74,500
  • Real Art Ways, Hartford, $153,700
  • Simsbury Performing Arts Center, Simsbury, $19,000
  • Sonia Plumb Dance Company, Hartford, $21,600
  • Southington Community Cultural Arts, Southington, $36,200
  • TheaterWorks Hartford, Hartford, $264,900
  • Trinity-on-Main, New Britain, $13,900
  • Vernon Community Arts Center (aka Arts Center East), Vernon, $9,500
  • Wesleyan Potters, Middletown, $15,800
  • West Hartford Art League, West Hartford, $18,400