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State awards grants to support local arts and festivals

Staff Report | August 16, 2022 1:16 PM

OLYMPIA — The Washington State Department of Commerce announced Monday that it is awarding more than $71,000 to arts organizations and local festivals in the Columbia Basin. The grants, made in collaboration with the Washington Festivals and Events Association and ArtsWA, are part of $3.3 million in funds awarded to 284 organizations in 36 of Washington’s 39 counties, according to the announcement.

Grants can be used to restart local festivals and events suspended in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic or to stabilize depleted budgets, according to the press release. Recipients can use the funds for deposits on infrastructure (security, temporary fencing, staging, lights, sound equipment, etc.) and staff and labor costs. Grants ranged from $178 to $35,000 and were based on need and demonstrated losses. The program was made possible through a tourism relief grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

The goals of the program are to increase business revenues in affected communities, preserve the vibrancy, diversity and growth of events that celebrate the area’s arts, history and culture and provide opportunities for entertainers, artisans and craftspeople who depend on these events for their income, according to the release.

Columbia Basin grant recipients:

• Moses Lake Spring Festival $15,000

• Odessa Chamber of Commerce $11,000

• Wheatland Communities’ Fair, Ritzville $11,000

• Ephrata Chamber of Commerce $9,000

• Columbia Basin Allied Arts $7,000

• Highlighters Art Club, Coulee City $5,000

• Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce $1,719

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