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Published: Monday, 7/9/2012

Organizations in area benefit as Ohio arts funding rises

Toledo arts groups will receive $460,377

BY TAHREE LANE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Toledo arts groups will receive $460,377 in grants from the Ohio Arts Council, which recently approved 455 applications totaling $7,870,213 for fiscal year 2013.

The awards compare with last year's total of $6,495,874, spread among 534 applicants. The new fiscal year began July 1.

After several years of significant reductions, arts funding increased by 33 percent for the 2012-13 biennium, said Julie Henahan, the arts council's executive director. That's the result of intense lobbying by the council's board members, staff, and the arts community to persuade elected officials to loosen the state's purse strings for music, dance, theater, and the visual arts.

"Things are heading in the right direction," said Ms. Hen- ahan.

"We were very pleasantly surprised," said Jennifer Jarrett, deputy director of the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo. The arts commission's $21,784 operating grant and $15,935 Young Artists at Work summer program funding were 15 percent and 33 percent increases, respectively. The agency also got $2,909 for its Artomatic 419! event.

Strong advocacy was fueled by a concern that the state arts commission could be eliminated, as has happened in other states, Ms. Jarrett said.

Added Marc Folk, director of the Toledo arts commission: "I think the governor understood the impact the arts have on the state of Ohio," thanks in large part to state Rep. Randy Gardner (R., Bowling Green).

Other successful Toledo applicants are Glacity Theatre Collective ($2,829); Masterworks Chorale ($4,835); Scrap- 4Art ($2,871); Toledo Ballet Association ($16,618); Toledo Botanical Garden ($22,373); Toledo Cultural Arts Centre at the Valentine Theatre ($34,486); Toledo Museum of Art ($189,312); Toledo Opera Association ($16,426); Toledo Orchestra Association ($94,624); Toledo Public Schools/Beverly ($1,600); Toledo Repertoire Theatre ($10,458); Toledo School for the Arts ($9,334); United North Corp./Ohio Theatre ($13,983).

Also receiving grants are Ballet Theatre of Toledo in Holland ($11,425); Bowling Green State University's Fine Arts Center Galleries ($6,618); Pemberville Freedom Area Historical Society ($2,793); Lourdes University's Theater Vision ($5,280); Tiffin Theater ($18,213); Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation ($18,325); Riverside Art Center in Wapakoneta ($2,617); Bittersweet Farms in Whitehouse ($2,186); Henry County Arts Council ($1,949); Napoleon Community Band ($873); Arts Partnership of Greater Hancock County ($21,785).

Organizations receiving state funds are required to match with additional public and private funds. In general, for every state tax dollar invested, $84 is raised in matching funds by recipient organizations, according to the state arts council Web site.

Among four large Ohio cities, 68 applicants in Cleveland will receive $2.1 million, 49 in Cincinnati will get $1.4 million, 60 in Columbus will share $1.1 million, and 26 in Dayton will receive $608,560.

The Ohio Arts Council's budget for the 2012-2013 biennium is $17.2 million. Additional grants are to be awarded early next year.

The budget hit a low point in recent years with a $13 million allotment for the 2010-2011 biennium, Ms. Henahan said.

Before the 2008 recession, the Ohio Arts Council's two-year budget was $25 million.

"We're not back where we were. That was a different time," she said.

Contact Tahree Lane at: tlane@theblade.com or 419-724-6075.



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