New Bedford Artists, Arts Organizations to Receive $1.5 Million in ARPA Money
New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell has announced the next round of American Rescue Plan Act funding, and this time it supports local artists and art-related organizations.
“The artists that comprise New Bedford’s thriving arts community are themselves small businesses,” Mayor Mitchell said. “Funding to accelerate their emergence from the pandemic represents a timely investment in our economy and will energize our cultural scene.”
Mitchell made the announcement Friday at Hatch Street Studios that $1.2 million will be distributed to the artists and organizations through the Small Business Assistance Program that was launched earlier this year to distribute a portion of the ARPA funding.
It will be distributed under three separate initiatives, according to a City of New Bedford release: Wicked Cool Places, Art is Everywhere, and ARTnet. The New Bedford Economic Development Council will administer the grant process through its New Bedford Creative arm.
“Supporting arts, culture, and creativity is critical to catalyzing broader community and economic development,” New Bedford EDC President Tony Sapienza said. “This important boost to support artists and art-related organizations will build the momentum of how the city is promoted to the region and the world – that this is a great place to live, work, and visit.”
Margo Saulnier, the NBEDC’s director of creative strategies, will manage distributions of art-related grants and support.
“New Bedford has an incredible pool of talented people with a deep attachment to the city and a fierce ambition to involve themselves in its civic and professional life,” Saulnier said. “On their behalf, I’m thrilled to acknowledge this terrific investment in that pursuit. Those practicing art in all its forms will now have more opportunity to enrich us and make us a greater Destination New Bedford than ever.”
It is now the sixth initiative for doling out the first half of the $64.7 million in federal COVID-19 relief money that the New Bedford City Council voted to accept back in March. Other announcements have benefitted a program to upgrade business facades, housing, child care, small businesses, and $5 million to help with renovation of the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center.