Muskegon, Michigan, Sept. 17, 2015 – The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs has approved grants for 2016 totaling nearly $9.65 million in awards across the state.
The grants were awarded to organizations in 55 Michigan counties of which Muskegon County garnered seven. MCACA stated it received 585 applications for funding and used the services of 133 professionals to determine eligibility for the awards. The Council will fund 462 grants next year, 40 more than the 422 awarded for the last granting season.
John Bracey, executive director of the MCACA, stated “This has been the most difficult season of grant reviews since the days of the Great Recession when there was so little money,” said John Bracey, MCACA executive director. “Now the issue is how to reach as many eligible organizations as possible around the entire state with our increased, albeit still limited, funding.”
West Michigan Symphony is listed to receive a $30,000 grant and The Block will receive $12,500. The grants were awarded in the operational support category which is earmarked to provide support to the general expenses of operating arts and cultural organizations.
West Michigan Symphony President and CEO, Carla Hill, said “We are so pleased to once again earn the support of the Council through these generous grants.” She continued, “Grant awards such as these play a big part in helping us uphold our mission to engage our local communities with innovative symphonic and educational programming.”
As one of the few professional regional orchestras in Michigan, West Michigan Symphony has provided arts and cultural programing to its community for 76 years. With eight annual main stage concerts and dozens of educational and outreach activities; the organization’s most recent addition is The Block in downtown Muskegon. The Block hosts many of the symphony’s educational programs plus a wide range of professional musical performances in its smaller, intimate performance space. The Block also serves as a rental facility for special events.