CT Humanities Awards $85,000 in Cultural Relief Grants to 17 Connecticut Organizations
February 4, 2021 • Features & News, Grants

Connecticut Humanities (CTH) recently awarded $85,000 to 17 Connecticut cultural organizations through an unprecedented collaboration with the Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA). CTH’s Cultural Relief Grants offer COVID-19 relief funding to non-profit arts and humanities organizations that are continuing to provide programming and services but are facing financial hardship resulting from the global pandemic. The organizations are committed to advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work in their mission and operations, and are committed to the Black, Indigenous and People of Color community. CTH’s Cultural Relief Grants are supported through a FY 2021 COVID-19 grant award from the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA).

Dr. Jason Mancini, executive director at CTH, says, “The collaborative partnership we have formed with the Office of the Arts and with funders like CHEFA is an important step on our path towards cultural equity and supporting organizations that represent the breadth and vitality of all Connecticut communities. We are renewing our commitment to organizations that serve and share the stories and experiences of African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos and the broader community of color.”

“The Connecticut Office of the Arts is committed to working collaboratively with Connecticut Humanities to ensure that our organizations continue to grow the alignment in our commitment to advancing racial equity through our grant programs,” states Elizabeth Shapiro, director at the COA. “This generous grant from CHEFA marks the beginning of a deeper relationship between our organizations that we hope will benefit the arts, humanities and cultural organizations in our state, and all of the people in Connecticut.”

“CHEFA is proud to support Connecticut Humanities with this significant grant from CHEFA’s FY 2021 CHEFA COVID-19 Grant Program.  The grant will have a meaningful impact on Connecticut arts and cultural organizations during this challenging time.  CHEFA is one of only a few statewide entities providing philanthropic resources to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. We value this significant partnership between CT Humanities and the Connecticut Office of the Arts” stated Jeanette W. Weldon, CHEFA’s Executive Director.

Priority for funding was also given to organizations with operating budgets of less than $500,000 a year. Each of the 17 grantees will receive $5,000 to help with their general operating expenses.

“As we enter 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t yet over. But to remain stable and robust, Expressiones must now be ready to shift to a different mindset: from one of crisis to one of resilience and recovery,” explains Jose Garaycochea-Ulloa, executive director at Expressiones Cultural Center of New London. “We are pleased to be one of CT Humanities’ award recipients. This grant will allow us to try new approaches in a spirit of reinvention: accelerating digital transformation, employing variable cost structures and more agile operations. We are continually reviewing our goals and assumptions regarding the outreach of Expressiones in the community, aspiring to be ever more responsive to the needs and opportunities before us.”

“The board and staff of the Artists Collective extend sincere appreciation to CT Humanities for its recent grant. At this difficult time, we are especially grateful as it will allow us to continue to serve our community,” says Miriam Sheeler Roane, President, Board of Directors, Artists Collective of Hartford.

“Queen Ann Nzinga Center, Inc., encourages and empowers our youth through the arts,” states Dayna R. Snell, LCSW, executive director at the center located in Plainville. “Programs are only as good as the people who envision and deliver them, and venues must be accessible and welcoming. Our associates are skilled and dedicated to creating opportunities for all young people to shine through the arts while elevating the humanity in our communities. We are grateful to CT Humanities for investing in us.”

Those receiving $5,000 awards are:

Cultural Alliance of Western CT (Danbury)

The Amistad Center for Art & Culture (Hartford)

Artists Collective, Inc. (Hartford)

Ebony Horsewomen (Hartford)

HartBeat Ensemble (Hartford)

Artfarm Inc. (Middletown)

Oddfellows Playhouse (Middletown)

Artspace (New Haven)

Immigrant History Initiative (New Haven)

Monk Youth Jazz and Steam Collective (New Haven)

Movimiento Cultural Afro-Continental Inc. (New Haven)

New Haven Pride Center (New Haven)

Expressiones Cultural Center (New London)

Writer’s Block InK (New London)

Queen Ann Nzinga Center, Inc. (Plainville)

Intempo (Stamford)

Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society (West Hartford)

Patrick Dunn, executive director at the New Haven Pride Center says, “I am so thankful to CT Humanities for creating the CTH Cultural Relief Grant, not because we were awarded it (although I am thankful for that as well) but because of the thoughtful way in which it is prioritizing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities with this grant.”

Dunn adds, “Every cultural organization in Connecticut should be prioritizing BIPOC communities now and into the future, for too long the stories of BIPOC communities have been ignored at best or colonized and whitewashed at worst. At the New Haven Pride Center racial justice work is seen as hand in hand with the social justice for LGBTQ+ communities work that we do and to see one of our state’s most prominent funders understand that and keep that in mind when doing their granting work is a huge leap forward.”

To learn more, visit https://cthumanities.org/grants/cultural-relief/

The Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) is a quasi-governmental agency created to help Connecticut-based non-profit organizations raise the funds needed to meet their goals of improving the health and education of Connecticut citizens. CHEFA accomplishes this by providing tax-exempt financing and other financial assistance to educational institutions, health care providers, child care providers, and other eligible non-profit entities. Since its inception in 2002, CHEFA grant programs have provided more than $38 million to Connecticut non-profit organizations. CHEFA grant programs are made possible through the fiscally responsible management of the organization by CHEFA Officers and the CHEFA Board of Directors and utilize no State of Connecticut funds. https://www.chefa.com/home

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