Help and Hope for Connecticut Theaters

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State and Federal Funding Providing Help to Arts Organizations in Connecticut

Sen. Richard Blumenthal speaks on the steps of New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre in support of Save Our Stages which is requesting Federal aid.

By Karen Isaacs

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced $9 million in grants to state arts organization through Connecticut’s COVID Relief Fund for the Arts in December. . Qualifying organizations included arts nonprofits (performing arts centers, school of the arts and performing groups) who curtailed operations. Organizations received a base grant of $5k plus a partial match of funds the groups had raised. Just about every theater got some funding to help keep going. For the most part, the larger theaters received the highest amounts – Long Wharf ($551,000), Eugene O’Neill Center ($376k), Goodspeed ($532k), Hartford Stage ($542k), the Bushnell ($480k), Westport Playhouse ($365k) and TheaterWorks ($264k). Other area theaters getting grants included Elm City Shakespeare, Ivoryton Playhouse, the Katherine Hepburn Arts Center, Legacy Theater of Branford, Madison Lyric Stage as well as symphonies, ballets, dance and music organizations.

Save Our Stages: Theaters are breathing another small sigh of relief. The Covid relief package that passed Congress just before Christmas allocates $15 billion to help theaters across the nation.  Theaters across the US had banded together under the Save Our Stages moniker to lobby for relief funds. Sen, Richard Blumenthal was a major champion of the effort. Details on the application process, the timing for the awarding of grants and other details are not yet fully known.

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