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Arts Council of the Valley announces Spring 2021 Advancing the Arts grant awards

Arts Council of the ValleyArts Council of the Valley announces its Spring 2021 Advancing the Arts grant awards, providing a total of $12,436 to 10 recipients.

“Advancing the Arts grants invest money in the vital arts infrastructure of our community,” ACV Executive Director Jenny Burden said, noting that grant funding for 2020 – in spite of COVID-19 – totaled $41,219, including $15,000 for one-time City of Harrisonburg CARES Act Arts & Culture grants to help artists and arts nonprofits facing negative financial impacts due to the pandemic.

“These awards are a tangible expression of ACV’s continuing commitment to invest in creative projects designed to cultivate the arts and connect communities in the HarrisonburgRockingham area,” 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.

For the spring 2021 funding cycle, one Arts for Education grant was awarded to Rebecca Kenaga of Amplify Music for Gemeinschaft Home (Women’s Project) Amplified, to develop a music enrichment class incorporating resident-led, project-based learning, music technology, and narrative-sharing through songwriting.

Nine Creative Inspiration grants were awarded to:

  • Bob Adamek for Enhancing My Wildlife Photography.
  • Gene Bowlen for Bringing the Artist Forward, providing a virtual public portal for Shenandoah Valley musicians to use for online performances.
  • David Brennan for A Cyborg’s Father, to compose a series of flash essays exploring various aspects of medical dependence on machine technology.
  • Yi-Ping Chen of Caravanserai Music for Promoting Empathy Through the Arts, to conduct a video project depicting emotions of rejection and acceptance in Richard Dehmel’s poem Transfigured night, using Arnold Schoenberg’s string sextet of the same name, and visual works by local artists.
  • Ivan C. Christo for Empire of Excellence, an eight-episode virtual variety show, with live musical performances, interviews, sketch comedy, dimension hopping, puppetry, and interaction with the online audience.
  • Tyler Kauffman for Nest Realty Mural, to paint a 210-square-foot mural on the retaining wall near the renovated Nest Realty building.
  • Mike Simpson and Becky Glick of Simply Folk Music for Songs for Seniors, offering musical programs for residents at area nursing homes and retirement communities.
  • William Snyder, III for installations of The Blue Rider and #BigVespa sculptures in front of Smith House Galleries in Harrisonburg and The Oliver Art House in Broadway.
  • Jenna Bryant, Anne Paulus, and Shauna Frantz for TRYST in Plain Site, to conduct experimental dance workshops and create a public, site-responsive dance performance in downtown Harrisonburg.

Spring 2021 grants cover projects to be completed by the end of October 2021.

Advancing the Arts grant 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 $412,000 to local arts organizations and practitioners through these grants, with fall and spring funding cycles each year.

Details on the Fall 2021 grant cycle will be available in July


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