Mayor Ruthanne Fuller is allocating $75,000 of the $63 million the city received from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for a new grant program called Revitalize Creative Newton (RCN), according to a statement from Fuller on Nov. 4.
The grant money intends to support the reopening and recovery of arts groups and organizations in Newton, according to RCN guidelines. RCN, which will be managed by Newton Cultural Development, is looking for organizations to explain the significance of its organization, how it benefits the community as a whole, and how the money would have an immediate impact on Newton and its workforce, Paula Gannon, director of Newton Cultural Development, said.
“In the past year, [Fuller] held many public listening sessions and our community has had an opportunity to voice their opinions on where you should be spending this money,” Gannon said. “And we’ve heard from many of our arts organizations and individuals in the arts community about the need to support our artists, our performers here in Newton, who have been so severely impacted through the COVID pandemic.”
Non-profit, art, and cultural organizations based in Newton with documentation of negative economic impacts due to COVID-19 can apply for a grant by Tuesday at 5 p.m. on the city’s website. To demonstrate negative economic impact, applicants can provide their profits or losses from the past three years. Applicants must also have a three-year history of providing a benefit to Newton residents.
This funding is intended to support specific operating costs, such as payroll and new technology, opposed to providing grants for particular projects, according to the city’s website. Grant amounts will be determined based on demonstrated financial need and the number of applications, according to RCN guidelines.
“We will take into consideration when awarding the grants the potential to have an immediate impact on the arts workforce and to reach individuals whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, disability, other protected and important classes of people, and geography,” Fuller said the statement.
Gannon said the pandemic brought changes to the community and the way Newton operates, leaving organizations looking for ways to recover. All of the money will go directly to the artists in the community to help recovery, which will subsequently strengthen Newton’s arts and culture, Gannon said.
“It’s been a really interesting process, and an opportunity for us to help our community in a way that we’ve never had the chance to do before,” Gannon said. “We’re excited with the opportunity to do something new and to be part of this bigger piece of the puzzle for the City of Newton.”
Newton Cultural Development also held two virtual information sessions on Nov. 9 and Nov. 18 about the program and to answer any questions.
Both Gannon and associate director of Newton Cultural Development Danielle Moriarty agreed that RCN is a unique opportunity.
“This $75k is specifically for arts and culture,” Moriarty said. “Very deserving folks will benefit.”
Featured Image by Keara Hanlon / Heights Senior Staff