Stimulus Funding for the Arts in Nevada Print


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The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced on April 10, 2009, the awarding of $19.8 million in one-time grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 to state arts agencies and regional arts organizations in support of the arts sector of the economy. This funding was intended to act as a bridge of support to help the national arts industry weather the immediate economic storm while continuing to fulfill their artistic and public service goals.

The Nevada Arts Council (NAC) received $300,500 from the NEA -  $250,500 to distribute through grants in support of jobs in Nevada’s arts industry and $50,000 to support two contracted positions: one that manages the Nevada Touring Initiative, a statewide program in jeopardy that provides visual arts exhibits and writers in residence throughout the state, and one to manage the SNAP Grant Program and help with NAC ongoing grants management. 


Final reports noted that SNAP grants supported 12 full-time positions, eight part-time positions and 236 contracts with artists and other professionals in the creative workforce. SNAP grantees reported that in FY10 ARRA funding supported a cumulative of 12,315 hours worked on arts and cultural programs available to Nevadans and visitors to the state. The two positions at NAC supported with stimulus funding charged ARRA for 933.22 hours of work.

Susan Boskoff, NAC executive director commented, “These federal stimulus dollars absolutely saved jobs and programs in Nevada’s cultural industry, which in turn provided access to cultural programs that might have disappeared. The SNAP Program demonstrated the power of public/private initiatives as well as the commitment of Nevada’s arts sector to provide solutions to our state’s economic challenges. It’s a shame that we cannot continue this program in FY11.”

In detailed quarterly reports, required of all ARRA grantees, SNAP recipients provided both anecdotal and budget information on their use of this vital funding. Several reports are included below:

CHURCHILL ARTS COUNCIL                Fallon                   $10,000                 
Executive Director (FT)               336                      
The Executive Director’s responsibilities include the coordination and implementation of all CAC programs and activities for FY10 season and arts events. These activities are made possible because the position was retained at full-time. 

CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER         Las Vegas             $10,000                
Executive Director (Contract)        400                      
The Director’s responsibilities included maintaining membership records, working with the various committees of the CAC and assisting with organizational tasks to achieve effective planning and preparation, being present at events and helping to coordinate with Arts Factory staff and exhibiting artists, coordinating volunteers, and helping to establish an internship program. 

MASTERWORKS CHORALE                 Reno                    $6,295                  
Accompanist (PT), Musical
Director (PT), Webmaster (Contract), Asst. Accompanist (Contract)     114
The Musical Director organized and directed the choir for all rehearsals and performances.  The accompanist not only accompanied the choir for several performances and the rehearsals leading up to them, but also trained an assistant accompanist, who helped out during their very busy holiday performance season.  The webmaster updated and improved the MasterWorks Chorale website.  The Chorale performed almost twenty concerts or mini-concerts during this fiscal year.


A panel of sitting and past NAC Board Members reviewed 61 eligible applications during a day-long public hearing (Scoring Rubric). After a rigorous discussion, the Board approved full funding to eight organizations, with scores over 90, and the funding of 31 applicants with scores between 70 - 90 through a proportionate amount of the remaining dollars. One-time grants of up to $10,000 were awarded to organizations with budgets ranging from less than $25,000 to over one million, from six counties and thirteen communities for FY10.

Tim Jones, board chair, commented on the review process, "The SNAP applications revealed the remarkable breadth of arts and cultural programming that Arts Council grantees provide to communities throughout our state. The Arts Council Board certainly could have awarded funding many times over the amount available. In the end, we recognized those applicants that presented a clear and compelling case, and a commitment to employ these precious dollars judiciously."

Four other Nevada arts organizations received stimulus funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Western States Arts Federation as part of their ARRA direct grants programs. Recipients of National Endowment direct grants are the Reno Chamber Orchestra ($25,000), Clark County Division of Cultural Affairs ($50,000) and Western Folklife Center ($50,000). Sierra Arts Foundation received a grant of $18,000 from the Western States Arts Federation.