Hartford Arts Stimulus Prompts 70+ Letters of Intent

Posted on Wednesday, April 29 2009 by Heather Brandon

City officials present the arts stimulusApologies for my hiatus while I worked on a term paper. Back to business: Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez (pictured, at center) announced this evening that the city’s Department of Development Services received over 70 letters of intent Monday in response to its announcement two weeks ago welcoming proposals for its arts and heritage jobs grant program. Formal applications are due Monday, May 11, with award notification some time in June.

Proposals for funding may range between $10,000 and $200,000 in any of three categories.

The mayor’s office announced that 12 proposals arrived in the category of facilities improvement, totaling over $1,500,000 in requests; 42 in new or expanded works, totaling over $3,000,000; and 17 in youth employment, totaling over $1,500,000. Two additional proposals totaling $250,000 arrived without a category, which brings the grand total for likely applications to about $6.4 million.

To review the formal applications, the city is appointing five people to a committee that will serve alongside five other appointees from the Greater Hartford Arts Council. The committee will be chaired by David Panagore (pictured above, far left), Director of Development Services. To be eligible, award recipients must apply by partnering with a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and must show that the funding will clearly benefit Hartford residents.

Arts projects ready to take the stage?The aim is to employ artists and kids, Ken Kahn (pictured above, at podium) of the GHAC told an audience at Real Art Ways at an April 16 information session. He also noted he thinks the projects will be very competitive. Panagore added that “curtain ready” projects, or ones that are readily implementable, may be regarded more favorably.

“There may be cases where a letter of intent is so unfocused and inadvisable that [the project would not be fundable], but it seems we can’t tell people not to apply,” Kahn said. Panagore added the letters of intent will help the screening committee see what applicants are considering, as a sort of check-in process.

The funding must be entirely disbursed during the fiscal year starting July 1. The bulk of the funding—$1.1 million—is planned to come from the city’s general fund, with an additional $600,000 anticipated from pending Community Development Block Grant federal funding.

Read more at letsgoarts.org/hartfordartsjobs. The mayor’s press release is below.

MORE THAN 70 LETTERS OF INTENT RECEIVED FOR HARTFORD ARTS STIMULUS

(April 29, 2009) Mayor Eddie A. Perez is pleased to announce that The Arts and Heritage Jobs Grant Program received more than 70 Intent to Apply (ITA) letters requesting almost $6.4 million in Hartford Arts Stimulus funds. The federal grants and reprogrammed city dollars will help Hartford Arts and Heritage organizations create new works, new performances, employ Hartford youth, and expand facilities. The letters of intent include requests for the following:

1. Facilities Improvement: 12 ITA’s $1,500,747
2. New/Expanded Works: 42 ITA’s $3,094,855
3. Youth Employment: 17 ITA’s $1,553,380

Two additional letters were received but neither provided a specific category for request. The monetary amount totals $250,000.

Mayor Perez announced this stimulus plan last month during his State of the City address as a way to create and retain about 200 jobs in the Capital City.

The Mayor says, “This community is a vital financial force, attracting thousands of visitors and pumping about $200 million into the local economy. By prioritizing job creation, public safety, and education and continuing to provide essential services to our residents and businesses, we will better position our City for success as our nation’s economy recovers from the worst financial times since the Great Depression.”

A public informational hearing was hosted by Mayor Perez, Director of Development Services and Committee Chair David Panagore, and Ken Kahn on behalf of the City of Hartford and the Greater Hartford Arts Council at Real Art Ways on April 16th. Here is the list of deadlines/timetables:

April 27: Intent to Apply due
May 11: Applications due
June: Award notification

Please note that all deadlines are delivery dates and not postmark dates. For more information, please contact Laura Lopez at llopez@hartford.gov. Also, this stimulus program is currently awaiting approval by Hartford City Council as part of the budget process. Grants will be made only if the program receives Council approval.

2 Responses to “Hartford Arts Stimulus Prompts 70+ Letters of Intent”

  1. Kerri http://ctlocalpolitics.net/realhartford

    Just curious about your opinion on this– do you think this money should go primarily to new artists/projects or to existing/established ones? both? neither?

  2. Heather Brandon http://urbancompass.net

    I’d like to see the city government commission public works of art directly from individual artists.

    I’d rather not see this funding go indirectly toward the support of the arts. However, I understand arts-related nonprofits are suffering from the economic downturn, and that’s why this funding is likely going to be aimed at preserving existing jobs, not just creating them.

    How much of an institutional layer is needed in order for the arts to thrive?

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