CT Humanities Awards more than $8.5M to 723 Cultural Organizations Statewide – reaching 146 towns and 14% more organizations over 2021

For Immediate Release
January 23, 2023

Contact: Aimee Cotton Bogush | abogush@cthumanities.org | 860-937-6648
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CT Humanities Awards more than $8.5M to 723 Cultural Organizations Statewide – reaching 146 towns and 14% more organizations over 2021

MIDDLETOWN, CT – At their December meeting, the board of directors of CT Humanities (CTH) awarded more than $8.5M in operating support grants from the CT Cultural Fund (CCF) to 723 non-profit museums and cultural, humanities, and arts organizations. The grants are part of $30.7M of support allocated to CTH over the 2022/2023 biennium by the CT General Assembly and approved by Governor Ned Lamont.

“Through this investment, Connecticut’s leaders recognize the integral role arts and culture play in our state’s economy, in the lives of our residents, and in making our communities thriving places to live and work,” states Dr. Jason Mancini, executive director at CT Humanities.

Via the public/private partnership between CTH and the Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA), Department of Economic and Community Development, CCF support assists organizations as they recover from the pandemic and maintain and grow their ability to serve their community and the public, connect K-12 teachers and students to strong humanities and arts content, and improve their information technology and digital infrastructure.

“The CT Cultural Fund is so much more than a cash award to Connecticut’s arts, humanities, museum, and cultural sector. The fund is a statement of support by the state for the organizations that make our communities more vibrant and our economy stronger,” said Elizabeth Shapiro, Director of Arts, Preservation & Museums for the state. “It’s a tangible guarantee from the Office of the Arts and CT Humanities that there is a meaningful, accessible, collaborative network of wrap-around support for the sector.”

According to the final reports of the 632 organizations that shared the $16.1M awarded in December 2021, 88% used the funds to hire or keep employees, 33% used it to support K-12 education, and 52% used it to improve technology and digital initiatives.

At New London Landmarks, a new oral history project was implemented with paid interns. The project allowed past and current residents of New London’s income-restricted housing projects to tell their own stories and to cumulatively tell a story about how New London’s housing projects evolved over decades.

The International Festival of Arts and Ideas, based in New Haven, is using funds to expand, diversify, and broaden the content reach of its Ideas series and plans to reach more K-12 students and Spanish-language-speaking communities across the state in 2023.

The Times Fool Theater Company employed 12 artists and three production crew, most of whom were local Connecticut artists. Through their efforts, more than 900 community members were able to experience free, professional theater – including many families and children seeing Shakespeare for the first time.

“We know this works,” continues Mancini. “With the CT Office of the Arts, CT Humanities is successfully and equitably granting dollars vital for sustaining and strengthening the state’s cultural infrastructure and enhancing the quality of life for Connecticut’s residents.”

Through strong outreach efforts, CTH reached 14% more organizations than last year when it awarded $16M in 632 operating support grants from the CCF. Nonprofits of all sizes in 146 cities and towns and one tribal nation received awards – this includes 90% of Alliance and Opportunity school districts. Alliance Districts are school districts with among the lowest Accountability Index measure in the state. Opportunity Districts are a subset of those that include the ten lowest-performing districts in the state based on the Accountability Index.

Based on budget size and in consideration of other sources of state funding, the minimum award was $5,000, and the maximum award was $150,000. Eligible organizations included Connecticut museums and 501c3 non-profit, municipal, or CT-based tribal nation organizations that provide cultural, humanities, and arts-based projects and activities for the public (i.e., museums, historic houses, historical societies, arts organizations, cultural centers, and other organizations that offer activities like exhibitions, performances, art classes, public programs, or walking tours).

“I’m hopeful we will see continued meaningful, reliable, and equitable funding in the next biennium budget,” says Frank Mitchell, vice chair of the CT Humanities board of directors. “Doing so allows organizations to dream and plan and really maximize the investment.”

To view the complete list of grants awarded, visit our website.

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Connecticut Humanities (CTH) is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. CTH connects people to the humanities through grants, partnerships, and collaborative programs. CTH projects, administration, and program development are supported by state and federal matching funds, community foundations, and gifts from private sources. Learn more by visiting cthumanities.org.

The Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) is the state agency that fosters the health of Connecticut’s creative economy. Part of the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development, the COA is funded by the State of Connecticut and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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