NEPA Scene Staff

2017 Lackawanna County Arts & Culture Grant recipients announced at Scranton Cultural Center

2017 Lackawanna County Arts & Culture Grant recipients announced at Scranton Cultural Center
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From a press release:

Lackawanna County Commissioners Patrick M. O’Malley, Jerry Notarianni, and Laureen A. Cummings announced the 2017 arts and culture organizations and individuals who have received grant support for their various community projects, events, and activities on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Financial assistance was awarded in two forms: program stream grants and community project grants.

The program stream grants are larger awards to arts and cultural nonprofits who receive a yearly allocation from the Lackawanna County Arts and Culture Department. Their operations are reviewed every other year to gauge need, their projects, and general growth.

Community project grants are one-time disbursements for a specific activity administered by an organization or individual. Applicants may reapply every October for this form of funding.

The applications for both revenue streams are reviewed and scored by a panel to help determine if the programs, projects, or activities should be funded. Both grant programs are modeled after the process that the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts utilizes.

The financial resources for the grants come from the Arts, Education, and Culture tax, which is assessed annually at a rate of approximately 1.0 mill.

At the Feb. 8 awards ceremony at the Scranton Cultural Center, the County’s Arts and Culture Department and the Pocono Arts Council also recognized the Pennsylvania Arts Council’s “Partners in the Arts” Project Stream Award recipients from the region.

The amount awarded for 32 program grants this year was $214,200. The total for 22 project grants was $50,000.

Local anchor institutions the Everhart Museum and the Scranton Cultural Center received their annual education/arts and culture allocation of $240,000 each. The Lackawanna County Library System received $60,000 to operate the County Law Library, with $180,000 being held for emergency capital expenses/improvements.

Minority Commissioner Cummings caused a stir last month when she said that she was interested in cutting part of the arts and culture funding to reallocate the money to the general fund, where some of it could still be used for the arts, but the commissioners would have more control over what programs are paid for. The local arts community struck back immediately, putting a petition together and flooding the commissioners’ office with e-mails and phone calls opposing her position.

Commissioner O’Malley responded soon after, promising to continue the funding as is and stressing its importance.

“Arts and Cultural activities fuel the mind and spirit of a community. They create a bond that brings people together to be entertained, experience diversity, and hear insights on issues that impact our area, nation, and world. That’s what arts and culture mean to Lackawanna County. I have been a staunch supporter of the cultural activities and arts institutions that our community offers since my tenure as commissioner began in 2012. I have never wavered, no do I intend to. The Culture and Education tax is vitally important to every organization and every resident. It must continue to educate and stimulate the minds of young and old,” O’Malley said in a written statement on Jan. 13.

“We fund such valuable programs as Art in the Park, Arts Engage, Holiday Marketplace, Arts on the Square, festivals, heritage celebrations, music, and a host of other activities. I have witnessed the impact of these and other events first-hand. They matter! They also generate economic opportunities for our shops, stores, and restaurants in the central city core and surrounding communities. I pledge my continued support for the arts and will search for other programs that will expand Lackawanna County’s horizons even more.”

The 2017 program stream grant recipients are:

Abington Business & Professional Association (Ice Festival) – $4,000
Actors Circle – $6,000
Anthracite Heritage Museum & Iron Furnaces – $7,000
Arcadia Chorale – $3,000
Artists for Art Gallery – $6,000
Ballet Theatre of Scranton – $7,000
Boys and Girls Clubs of NEPA – $5,000
Broadway Theatre League – $15,000
Catholic Choral Society – $3,000
Choral Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania – $3,500
City of Carbondale – Pioneer Heritage Festival – $4,000
Classical Guitar Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania – $1,200
Electric City Television – $30,000
First Friday Scranton – $6,000
La Festa Italiana – $7,000
Lackawanna All County High School Band – $1,000
Lackawanna Historical Society – $20,000
Lackawanna River Corridor Association River Fest – $3,000
Lackawanna Heritage Valley – Heritage Explorer & Santa Train – $1,000
Lyric Consort – $3,000
Mostly Opera – $1,500
N.E.I.U. #19 – Poetry Out Loud Program – $1,000
North Pocono Cultural Society – $3,500
Scranton Civic Ballet – $7,000
Scranton Jazz Festival – $10,000
Scranton Music Association – $3,000
Scranton Public Theatre – $3,500
Scranton Shakespeare Festival – $6,000
St. Patrick’s Day Parade Association – $6,000
St. Ubaldo Festival – $6,000
The Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic – $16,000
United Neighborhood Centers of NEPA Illumination Arts After School Program and arts projects at Project Hope – $15,000

The individuals and organizations receiving 2017 community project grants are:

Scranton Fringe Festival – $2,900
Ghostlight Productions – $2,800
Doug Smith – $2,800
Lisa Cassella – $2,700
Marylou Chibirka – $2,700
Julie Esty – $2,600
Rosemary Hay – $2,600
Michaela Moore & My Colley – $2,600
First Presbyterian Church – $1,900
Waverly Community House – $2,500
Ihor Shablovsky – $2,350
Covenant Public Concerts – $2,350
Friends of the ARC Auxiliary – $2,300
Shannon Keith – $2,200
St. Joseph’s Center – $2,100
Margo Azzarelli – $1,100
Marywood University – $2,000
Leela Baikadi – $2,000
Matthew Rupcich – $1,800
Sujata Nair-Mulloth – $1,900
West Scranton Hyde Park Neighborhood Watch, Inc. – $1,900
Mark Dennebaum – $1,900

See last year’s grant recipient list here and read more about the Arts and Culture Grant controversy here.