State hands $8.5 million in matching grants to arts groups

June 05, 1999|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF

Arts groups throughout the state found themselves a little richer yesterday, as Gov. Parris N. Glendening announced more than $8.5 million in matching grants to be distributed among 264 organizations throughout the state.

"It is important that we create a supportive environment for the arts, one in which we encourage and promote artistic excellence throughout the state," Glendening said in announcing the annual award of grants.

The biggest beneficiary was the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, which received more than $1.55 million.

Among the other major recipients were the Baltimore Museum of Art ($916,058), the Walters Art Gallery ($743,169), Center Stage ($432,199), the Baltimore Opera Company ($377,119), the Olney Theatre ($160,906), the Round House Theatre in Rockville ($100,681), the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Salisbury ($50,000) and the American Visionary Arts Museum ($30,000).

Some 230 smaller organizations were allocated grants totaling about $2.4 million, while county arts councils throughout the state received $1.7 million.

Noting that the arts had an economic impact on the state of $608 million, Secretary of Business and Economic Development Richard C. Mike Lewin praised the groups for their contributions to the state's business climate.

"Not only do the arts generate jobs and revenue for a community, they are also an important factor used by businesses in their decision to move to a new area," he said, "for they enhance the quality of life a community offers its citizens."

Grants were made based on recommendations by the Maryland State Arts Council.

Final decisions were based on artistic merit, administrative ability, financial stability, service to the community and the involvement of Maryland artists and audiences.

Pub Date: 6/05/99

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