$2.3 million in grants goes to keep Pennsylvania arts organizations afloat

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Arts organizations, hit especially hard during the coronavirus pandemic, have been given some hope. This week, the Governor announced $2.3 million dollars in funding from the CARES Act going to 309 arts nonprofits.

Among the 36 groups getting a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts is the Appell Center for the Performing Arts in York, the City of Lancaster, and the Susquehanna Folk Music Society.

“When the pandemic hit, we really had to cancel all of our events,” said Jess Hayden, the executive director of the Susquehanna Folk Music Society. “This money is going to be really vital for us.”

273 other organizations will get nearly $2,000 from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

The money will help recipients with support staff salaries, fees for artists, and facilities costs. 

While many groups say it’s unclear when live shows will begin again, music is staying alive through virtual performances.

Susquehanna Folk is also planning a digital Emerging Artist Showcase August 9.

“All the information is on our website susquehannafolk.org,” said Hayden. “Five bands will be selected to part of the virtual showcase, and then they’ll be judged and the top band will get a $500 prize.”

The Governor’s Office says the arts and culture industries contribute more than $25 billion to the state’s economy, and employ 176,000 people.

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