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Elm Street Cultural Arts Village Receives $50,000 CARES Act Grant From the National Endowment For The Arts

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Elm Street Cultural Arts Village Receives $50,000 CARES Act Grant From the National Endowment For The Arts

Elm Street Cultural Arts Village in Downtown Woodstock has received funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act from the National Endowment for the Arts in the amount of $50,000. These funds will be used to help support staff salaries for the nonprofit arts organization that had to halt operations since mid-March.

Grants of $50,000 are offered to 846 organizations and the National Endowment for the Arts received more than 3,100 eligible applications requesting $157 million for the $45 million available in direct assistance. The agency used more than 200 application readers and panelists to review and score each application using published criteria. Elm Street was one of 19 organizations in Georgia to win this grant funding to help supplement operations during the Coronavirus pandemic.

"The arts industry has been dramatically impacted over the past four months," Christopher Brazelton, Elm Street's Executive Director explains. "We are so honored and humbled to have received this assistance, which has allowed us to avoid furloughing our staff." Brazelton explains that as an organization that relies on ticket sales and in-person events to operate, he has been so overwhelmed with the community's response and support when a majority of their programming had to be postponed or cancelled. "We're grateful for our donors and supporters who have been checking in with us since March and asking how they are able to help. I'm also proud of my staff for showing diligence and stewardship - they've worked hard to cut over $50,000 in expenses since March."

Over the past 5 years the organization has focused to build strong executive leadership, a growing volunteer base, and has grown partnerships to broaden financial support. Elm Street's Programming has also grown. What began with a commitment to family entertainment and theatre education for young people has expanded to include a broad range of theatrical pieces, community art events, opportunities to engage with and learn visual arts, and an outdoor concert series focused on diverse voices and cultures. "Our belief as an organization is that an inspired community can do more and the arts are a great way to inspire," Brazelton says. "We've seen what impact the arts have in our communities and why they're so vital, especially now. The fight's not over and we'll still need help until we find the 'new normal.' We continue to have to rely on the community, but we are so proud of the community we get to rely on."

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