YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown’s Students Motivated by the Arts (SMARTS) will be receiving $50,000 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Northeast Ohio Center for Choreography at the University of Akron will also receive $50,000.
“Cultural centers like Youngstown’s SMARTS and the National Center for Choreography at the University of Akron play a critical role not only in education, but in quality of life – making our communities more desirable places to live and raise a family,” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “The arts have a powerful way of allowing self-expression, connecting communities and expanding the way we look at life. The NEA empowers local arts centers to work on bringing arts and culture to citizens in cities big and small.”
Funds from the CARES Act were distributed to these nonprofit arts organizations by the National Endowment of the Arts.
“All of us at the National Endowment for the Arts are keenly aware that arts organizations across the country are hurting, struggling and trying to survive and that our supply of funding does not come close to meeting the demand for assistance,” said Arts Endowment Chairman Mary Anne Carter. “That said, I am enormously proud of the over-and-above efforts of the Arts Endowment staff to swiftly and professionally manage such a large amount of additional work in a relatively short period of time on behalf of the American public.”
Arts and culture contributed to 4.5% of the nation’s gross domestic product in 2017 and employs over 5 million wage and salary workers, who collectively earned $405 billion.
Ryan said the grants will help maintain these jobs and nonprofit organizations.