By Marilyn Delk
Although Darke County Endowment for the Arts seems to fly under the radar when it comes to attracting donors to assist the organization’s financial growth, those seeking funding for arts projects are keenly aware of the opportunities provided by the Endowment to engender artistic growth in our community. DCEA received sixteen grant applications this year, all worthy of acceptance, and all applicants received funds; the results of this generous funding will benefit our entire community and enrich lives currently as well as in the future.
If you attended last week’s Gathering at Garst and visited the Art tent showcasing a wide variety of artists, you have already benefitted from Darke County Endowment for the Arts’ gifts. Likewise, if you enjoyed this year’s Annie Oakley Festival at the Darke County Fairgrounds, that local staple also received funding from DCEA. Main Street Greenville requested and received funding for prizes awarded to artists exhibiting at this week’s First Friday Artisan Stroll, always a festive event drawing crowds to downtown Greenville to enjoy a broad variety of creative endeavors.
Students at schools across Darke County will be able to actively participate in enriching activities during the upcoming school year due to support from DCEA. Greenville Middle School requested and received funds for fiber art projects. Ansonia High School students will enjoy field trips expanding their artistic horizons, and also will have the opportunity to participate in a range of Art Club activities beyond what can be provided within the school’s limited budget; additionally funds to purchase basic art supplies for Ansonia Elementary students were granted. Mississinawa Valley’s Art Department requested equipment to enhance their expanding photography program which, due to past exciting projects offered, attracts more and more students each year.
Versailles Elementary School’s kindergarten through fourth grade music department requested and received funds to purchase ukuleles which allow young hands to have fun creating music while also increasing understanding of musical principles. Versailles High School’s rapidly growing band needs additional instruments for their aspiring musicians; DCEA endowed money for purchase of a new silver trombone. The Endowment granted funds to Versailles Towne and Country Players for wireless microphones essential to their entertaining and enlightening theatre productions.
DCEA also gave money to Mona Gazala, who is planning to open a studio gallery in downtown Gettysburg, and requested assistance to fund the initial exhibit in this new art space. Another new project, Art House Gallery in downtown Greenville, was awarded money to purchase workstation tables and stools where students of all ages will express their creativity in various ways.
Local cultural institutions who submitted and received Endowment grants include Greenville Public Library, which is working to secure funds necessary to restore the Henry St. Clair Memorial stained glass window which currently enhances the Library’s Reference Room. Darke County Park District annually hosts culturally enriching events including the Historical Encampment at the Gathering at Garst and Prairie Days at Shawnee Prairie Preserve; support for performers at these popular festive affairs was requested and granted. Additionally, Darke County Center for the Arts asked for and received funds to match gifts received from donors on Giving Tuesday, November 29.
All of the above activity was funded through the Endowment’s General Fund, which has also endowed Darke County Center for the Arts’ ability to present a Missoula Children’s Theatre residency for the past two decades. DCEA also maintains a fund benefitting historic Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall, which notably helped underwrite the recent upgrades made to the auditorium. Another fund benefits Darke County Center for the Arts, underwriting purchase of equipment essential to the presentation of performing artists as well as other expenses.
This impressive array of wonders intended to keep the arts alive forever in our community can only continue with the generous support of that community. To discover more about how you can contribute to this beautiful bounty through donations and legacy gifts, visit www.Support DCEA.org or contact Darke County Endowment for the Arts at P.O. Box 155, Greenville, Ohio 45331.