Local art organizations receive grants


COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik have announced that the state will award more than $20 million in grants to support 104 arts-based organizations in 33 counties. Three local groups are recipients of the grants.

The grants are part of the second round of the Ohio Arts Economic Relief Grant Program. In total, more than $43 million in grants have been announced for 243 arts organizations across the state.

Illumination Ministries, of Greenville, will receive $10,100. Other local organizations receiving funds include Gateway Arts Council, Sidney, $27,127.60, and First on the Moon, Wapakoneta, will receive $4,901.07.

Marty McCabe, president of the Illumination Ministries committee said, “We are beyond thrilled.” He immediately gave credit to Cheryl Collins for her work in applying for grants. “We are very fortunate and blessed to have her in our corner and believing in the mission of the Illumination Festival,” he said. The festival was forced skip 2020 because of the pandemic, but rebounded with incredible concerts and events in 2021 and 2022. Now in its 16th season, the Illumination Festival Committee will bring in the 2023 event to the Darke County Fairgrounds on Sept. 16. The event begins at 11 a.m. in the midways with plenty of fun, food and music. The Coffee House stage returns as well as games and plenty of food vendors. Fish Food Pantry will once again kickoff its annual food drive and visitors are encouraged to bring in non-perishable food items for donation at the front gate.

Tickets are still available for the main stage concert in front of the Grandstand. Headlining the 2023 event will be Rend Collective who will be makin their first appearance at the Illumination Festival. The Irish band gives a high-energy show that fans will find inspirational and fun. Additional artists include Andrew Ripp, Rachael Lampa and Billy Ballenger. Tickets for the main stage concert are available at itickets.com.

McCabe went on to thank the governor and lieutenant governor as well as the director of the Ohio Department of Development for offering the grant program. “This will definitely help us further our mission of bringing churched and/or un-churched people to a place where they can enjoy themselves in a Christian atmosphere while beginning or furthering their relationship with Christ,” he said.

“Through these grants, we’re promoting creativity and quality of life,” said Husted. “These resources help people take pride in their local communities and create places where people want to live, work and play.”

“Ohio’s arts and culture are big business in the heart of the heartland,” said Mihalik. “By supporting these organizations, we’re supporting the business of art, which is essential for economic growth but also essential for creating vibrant and diverse communities.”

The grant program was created in partnership with the Ohio General Assembly as part of a bill sponsored by Sen. George Lang, R-West Chester, which was later merged into House Bill 45. The first round, announced in May, awarded more than $23 million to 139 organizations.

The program is funded as part of the American Rescue Plan Act, and awards were calculated based on organizations’ loss in revenue from 2019 to 2020 and 2021 and their 2022 operating budget. For more information about the program, visit https://development.ohio.gov/business/state-incentives/artsgrant.

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