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Gratitude and Appreciation Abound

Ohio Arts Council Executive Director Donna S. CollinsThanks to the support and actions of Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and the Ohio General Assembly, the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) has received an additional $20 million in federal funds to grant from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

This marks the most significant arts economic relief package ever earned and administered by the OAC. It also represents the second-largest single investment of CARES Act dollars to-date of any U.S. state or territory dedicated exclusively to the arts. And, critically, it will support arts organizations of all sizes, across many genres, all over our state. This lifeline is being extended not to just a few organizations, but to hundreds—because the arts in Ohio are better when we all work together.

On behalf of our staff, and arts supporters across the state, I want to thank our OAC Board Chair Ginger Warner, OAC Board Vice-Chair Jim Dicke, and truly our entire OAC Board for their steadfast support of the arts. Each of our 15 appointed board members has a passion for the arts. They know the success of each arts organization and artist in the state makes Ohio a better place to live and work. We also know the board’s leadership is making a positive difference and guiding the way as we fight through to the other side of the pandemic—where we finally will see the true meaning of resilience and recovery throughout the arts sector.

I also want to acknowledge that there are many financial needs in the arts community beyond that which the Ohio Arts Council and the State of Ohio could ever fully provide. More work remains. As we begin to process the state’s CARES Act award to the arts, we see every day the sacrifices made by our nonprofit performing and cultural arts organizations, and we know they will continue to have needs as reopening activities take place. In particular, we recognize that mid-sized and smaller arts organizations have few reserves, lack endowments, and face smaller philanthropic bases of support, while large organizations have incurred enormous costs and losses relative to COVID-19. Should they become available, we promise to stand ready to steward additional dollars from state, federal, and private sources to invest in Ohio’s future through the arts.

Stay safe, be well.

Until next time,

Donna Collins signature

Donna S. Collins
Executive Director 

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