Arts Council of the Valley announces Spring 2020 Advancing the Arts grant awards

Arts Council of the ValleyArts Council of the Valley has announced its Spring 2020 Advancing the Arts grant awards, providing a total of $12,284 to nine recipients for projects scheduled this fall.

Four of the projects are designed to extend well beyond the implementation phase, reaching more than 1,000 elementary school students and thousands of adults each year.

“We’re excited to fund these strong proposals,” ACV Executive Director Jenny Burden said, noting that this spring’s awards totaled more than twice the amount distributed during the 2019 fall funding cycle.

“Advancing the Arts grant funding is especially important now,” Burden noted, “as individuals and organizations face an array of difficult challenges related to the global pandemic.

“ACV continues its commitment to invest in creative projects designed to cultivate the arts and
connect communities in the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County,” she added.

Advancing the Arts grants are awarded in two categories: Arts for Education, provided to educators and educational organizations, and Creative Inspiration, allocated to individual artists.

Both types of grants support community-based initiatives in the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

Arts for Education grants were awarded to:

  • Yi-Ping Chen of Caravanserai Music for a Family-Sensory Friendly Chamber Orchestra Concert designed to provide equitable access to classical music for families with young children and individuals with special needs.
  • Jo Enke for Mountain View Elementary School’s Drumming with Mindfulness project to help students focus and build coping skills they can use in their day-to-day lives.
  • Tammy May for Lacey Spring Elementary School. Shape, Fire, and Cherish: A Kiln for Our Finished Works of Art will combine ACV grant funding with other revenue to expand the handmade clay creations art program.
  • Lydia Mix for River Bend Elementary School to purchase ukuleles. Uke Can Do It! Strumming Up Fun in the Elementary Classroom was designed to help students develop creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, communication and good citizenship.

Creative Inspiration grants were awarded to:

  • David Brennan for The Panic Architect, a long narrative poem conceived as both a work of art and a resource for parents thrust into a life-altering situation due to the medical diagnosis of their child.
  • Erica Cavanagh for HOME, a book-length letter about where her daughter comes from, in terms of family and country.
  • Kyle Kirby for a Downtown Harrisonburg Art Guide, to provide a printed and web-based guide to public art, in collaboration with Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance.
  • Robin Lyttle, in support of a Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project performance of Not Made for This: A Story of Fearlessness, Determination, and the Journey to Freedom, by local playwright Brianna Madden-Olivares.
  • Havi Wingfield for Learn to Sing with the Birds, a multifaceted project creating paintings that visually teach songbird and birdsong recognition, encourage people receiving therapy, and raise awareness of the need to protect songbirds.

Awardees may receive one grant – ranging from $500 to $1,500 – per calendar year. Matching funds are not required for grant submissions.

Since 2001, ACV has awarded more than $370,000 to local arts organizations and practitioners through these grants, with fall and spring funding cycles each year.

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