The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod (AFCC) has announced a record $120,388 in grants and sponsorships to 58 recipients.
The amount represents the seventh straight year the AFCC has been able to continue this upward trajectory and is a significant increase from its previous round of funding when it awarded $77,800 to 42 recipients.
“This grant funding is the direct result of individual donors, businesses, and foundations believing in the importance of the arts to our region,” said Julie Wake, AFCC Executive Director. “With their support, the AFCC has been able to make a meaningful investment in the arts sector so that arts organizations, artists, educational institutions, and nonprofits can move forward with projects that offer entertainment, education, inspiration, connection, hope, and healing. The arts have long been tied to the character of the Cape, and this round of AFCC grants ensures that they will continue to remain an integral part of our creative economy.”
This year, the AFCC was able to address more of the sector’s needs thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Cape Cod Foundation as well as the support of its Title Sponsor William Raveis and its AFCC Patron Program. Through that support, the AFCC was able to award $90,388 in grants to 42 recipients this year. It provided another $30,000 in sponsorships to 16 recipients.
Among those receiving funding is the Woods Hole Film Festival, which will be celebrating its 32nd year this summer. “The pandemic was and is a huge financial challenge for us. We are working to get back to where we were before. We’ll be two or three years behind the recovery of the commercial sector because so much of our funding is dependent on grants, donations, and sponsorships,” said festival Executive Director Judy Laster.
She praised the work of the AFCC in stepping up to fill these gaps at a time when the arts remain woefully underfunded. “Everyone talks about how the arts and culture sector is so important to the economy of the Cape, but at the same time if you break down the numbers for public support of arts and culture, it is miniscule,” she said. “It is amazing the sector has the people that do what we do. The foundation of it has to change. It can’t continue to be so difficult for people to do it or we won’t be able to.”
The AFCC also funded several projects that expand access to the arts among children. This includes a grant to the Provincetown Jazz Festival’s Jazz in the Schools, a free program which started in 2014 and which brings live jazz music into schools across Barnstable County.
Founder and musician Bart Weisman of Orleans on drums partners with Fred Boyle of South Yarmouth on piano and Rich Hill of East Falmouth on bass to expose children to America’s music – jazz, combining history and music lessons with live performance. “It is such a unique thing to inspire a young person,” said Weisman. “Music has been cut back in our schools to a great extent. For us to come and bring this program of art, at no charge to the school, and get the kids to experience this is a great thing. It’s missing from a lot of curricula and I’m glad we can do it.”
The AFCC grant, Weisman said, “means we can go out to a few more schools we wouldn’t have been able to.”
Last September, the AFCC distributed $139,000 in National Endowment for the Arts funding to 14 cultural nonprofits. The additional $120,000 in grants distributed last week means the nonprofit has invested over a quarter of a million dollars in the arts sector in less than a year.
A full list of the recipients can be found at artsfoundation.org