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Columbus Foundation Announces Grants for Local Arts Groups

Jesse Bethea Jesse Bethea Columbus Foundation Announces Grants for Local Arts GroupsDon't miss this year's Columbus Arts Festival! (Photo courtesy of The Columbus Foundation)
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The Columbus Foundation, which has been supporting philanthropic causes in central Ohio since 1943, has announced it will grant sizable funds to local arts and cultural organizations. The grants, divided between major arts organizations and community arts programs, total more than $1.1 million.

Artistic groups are considered by the Foundation to be major arts organizations if their annual budgets exceed $350,000 and were selected by the Foundation several years ago. Grants totaling $1,028,599 will go to these 15 major arts organizations, including the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the Wexner Center for the Arts.

Groups with annual budgets less than $350,000 are considered community arts organizations.  According to Dr. Lisa Courtice, the Foundation’s executive vice president for community research and grants management, the process of applying for a community arts grant is more open than the process for a major arts grant. Any arts organization can apply as long as it has been in existence for two years.

“We see many of the same organizations applying each year,” said Courtice. “But we also see new organizations applying this year.”

One such organization is Friends of Art for Community Enrichment, which Courtice said hadn’t applied for a grant for several years. This year the group will receive $1,567 from the Columbus Foundation. A total of $131,325 will go to 36 community arts groups, including the Actor’s Theater of Columbus, the Westerville Community Concert Band and the Columbus Gay Men’s Choir.

According to Courtice, what differentiates Columbus Foundation grants from others is that most other funding programs support new projects rather than general operating expenditures.

“The support is general operating support, which is not always the easiest to get,” said Courtice. “That’s what, in part, makes our grant-making program particularly strong.”

A press release from the Columbus Foundation included a statement from Foundation president and CEO Douglas F. Kridler, saying, “The arts are a vital part of what makes Columbus smart, open, and exciting,” and that the Foundation is “proud to support a wide range of organizations that consistently provide outstanding programming, exhibits, performances, and educational opportunities for people of all ages.”

In addition to major and community arts organizations, the Foundation is also granting money to the Columbus Museum of Art, the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts, and the Peggy R. McConnell Worthington Center for the Arts.

For more information, visit www.columbusfoundation.org.

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