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Support local arts organizations

Washington County arts programs appear to be getting a little more of the attention and financial support they need to grow and thrive.

Last week, the Ohio Arts Council Board announced it spent $18.4 million in 746 grants across Ohio, with 56 of them coming to southeast Ohio. This is the largest amount of grant funding distributed in the agency’s history, and will be a great help to these organizations and the communities they serve.

According to the Council’s announcement, four organizations received funding in Washington County. Main Street Marietta received $1,514 to create a bike-tunnel mural to showcase aquatic life in the Ohio and Muskingum rivers and host an educational event and community art-making project. The Ely Chapman Education Foundation in Marietta received $3,180 to engage local artist Geoff Schenkel to restore a wall mural as well as for the Living Rivers Water Display during the ECEF Sensational Summer Camp for youth. And Artsbridge received $12,330 to continue its art programming activities.

In Monroe County, River High School/Switzerland of Ohio Local School District received $12,000 to sponsor a 40-day residency in the visual arts with Rick Morgan. The Noble County Chamber of Commerce in Caldwell received $2,450 to present the Appalachian Foothills Fall Festival, celebrating Appalachian heritage with live demonstrations, music, displays and craft vendors.

This is fantastic news, but there is work to be done. Now that these programs have received more funding to bring the arts to us, local residents must be certain to take advantage of the opportunity to support them, too. It would be a shame to miss the gems in our midst because we take them for granted.

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