‘Stability and a path forward:’ Culture Works awards Dayton arts community funds to aid COVID recovery

As the Dayton arts community continues to feel the economic strains of the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous organizations and individuals have received a financial boost to keep them thriving.

Culture Works, the region’s united arts fund, has awarded $436,000 to 24 local arts and cultural organizations and 21 artists through the Dayton Region Arts Renewal Grant program thanks to a major grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

The Dayton Region Arts Renewal Grant program was created to support jobs in the local arts sector, keep the doors open to the region’s arts organizations, and assist in its response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a release. Funding for the program came from a one-time NEA American Rescue Plan (ARP) Subgranting award given to Culture Works late last year. Culture Works was one of 66 organizations nationwide, and one of only two in Ohio, to receive this type of NEA funding.

In July, Culture Works invited organizations to request up to $15,000 in general operating support and invited artists to request up to $5,000 in project support. In September, review panels of arts administrators, artists, and community leaders from across the state discussed applications and made funding recommendations at a series of public meetings.

Over the next year, organizations will use Dayton Region Arts Renewal Grant funds to offset staff salaries, facilities costs and other expenses related to day-to-day operations. Individual artists will use funding to complete projects that foster both professional growth and community engagement.



“For the last couple of years, the pandemic has prevented so many artists and arts organizations from connecting with their audiences,” said Karen Maner, Culture Works Director of Grantmaking. “We hope this funding will provide stability and a path forward so they can get back to doing what they do best: Inspiring our community through the arts.”

To receive funding, applicants had to demonstrate a deep commitment to artistic excellence and merit, strong administrative capability, and dedication to advancing diversity, equity, and accessibility in the arts.

“The Dayton Region’s artists and arts and cultural organizations strengthen our well-being, nourish our diversity and identity, and support our communities,” noted Lisa Hanson, Culture Works President and CEO. “Culture Works is pleased to award these Dayton Region Arts Renewal Grants, funded through the NEA, to support the creative work that brings enriching cultural experiences into our lives.”

According to Karen Maner, Culture Works director of grantmaking, grant amounts were based on the amount requested ($15,000 maximum), as well as the panel score received and the total amount of funding available to award.

The recipients and amounts of the Dayton Region Arts Renewal Grant are as follows:


America’s Packard Museum ($13,800)

Caesar’s Ford Theatre, Inc ($14,550)

The Contemporary Dayton ($14,550)

Dayton Art Institute ($15,000)

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company ($15,000)

Dayton Dance Conservatory Company ($15,000)

Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation ($13,800)

Dayton Live ($15,000)

Dayton Performing Arts Alliance ($14,550)

The Dayton Playhouse, Inc. ($15,000)

Friends of Levitt Pavilion Dayton ($13,800)

Friends of the Hartman Rock Garden ($14,250)

The Human Race Theatre Company ($15,000)



K12 Gallery & TEJAS ($15,000)

Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra, Inc. ($15,000)

The Mosaic Institute of Greater Dayton ($13,400)

Piqua Arts Council ($13,400)

Springfield Museum of Art ($13,400)

Springfield Symphony Orchestra ($15,000)

TheatreLab Dayton ($13,400)



Vandalia Youth Theatre ($15,000)

We Care Arts ($15,000)

Westcott House Foundation ($15,000)

Xenia Area Community Theater ($5,400)

Individual Artists:

Nicholaus Arnold

Joyce Barnes

Karol Brown

Stefan Chinov

Tess Cortes

Amy Deal

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

Jamaal Durr

Mikee Huber

Glenna Jennings

Ashley Jonas

G. Scott Jones

Sharon Leahy

Michael London

Jesse Ly

James McCutcheon

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Ty Greenlees

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Ty Greenlees

Mychaelyn Michalec

Sarah Richard

Erin Smith Glenn

Stephen Starr

Terry Welker

Countess V Winfrey



More information about grantees and their projects can be found at www.cultureworks.org/artsrenewal.

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