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Hernando Art Beat: Community Art Grants

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Since the inception of its art grant program in 2017, The Hernando County Fine Arts Council has distributed about 40 grants totaling $13,700 to arts, civic, educational, or cultural nonprofit organizations throughout Hernando. And now, it is time once again for the council to give through its CAG Program–so that their beneficiary organizations can continue in turn to give to the community.


The council is offering grants up to $500 each to create, produce, appreciate, support, learn about, participate in and encourage the creative arts in Hernando County.  The deadline for applying is 5 p.m., Oct. 22, 2020, with funded projects set to take place throughout 2021.  In order to reflect the Arts Council’s broadened focus for the 2021 grant program, three varieties of projects will be eligible for funding: public art installations (murals, sculptures, etc.), art-focused events or performances, and art instruction.  The Hernando County Fine Arts Council offers grants of up to $500 each for local groups to promote the arts in Hernando County. Any Hernando County education, art, civic or cultural organization recognized as a non-profit or charitable group may apply.


“Grants provide civic, educational, or cultural nonprofit organizations within Hernando County an opportunity to showcase creative arts. Previous grantees include theaters, orchestras, choruses, talent organizations, and art clubs to name a few,” said Cheryl Hill, Community Arts Grants Coordinator. “Grantees are awarded up to $500 for projects such as murals; children’s art; theatrical, choral and orchestral performances; and art exhibitions.”


Funding for this grant program comes from community donations, the purchase of “Florida State of the Arts” specialty license plates, and proceeds from Art in the Park, the Council’s signature art and entertainment festival celebrated the second weekend of March each year. 2020 grant recipients included the Ability Tree of Florida ArtAbility program, Brooksville Main Street Brooksville Mini-Mural Project, Dawn Center of Hernando County Giving Survivors a Voice program, Hernando County Public Library System Art Attack!, Hernando Symphony Orchestra Concert Series, Hernando Youth Orchestra 2020 Concert Series, Hillside Community Baptist Church Road to Bethlehem,  Historic Hernando Preservation Society Historical Architectural Print Series #1, Kiwanis Club of Brooksville Tribute to the Jurists of Brooksville, Live Oak Theatre 2019-2020 Season of Performances, Stir Up the Gift student development program, Suncoast Harmony Chorus of Sweet Adelines International for awareness of women’s a capella 4 part harmony singing in Hernando County, and The Arc Nature Coast, Inc. Special Art by Special Hands program.

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William “Bill” Yerrick, Council chair, explained that the grant program helps fulfill the Council mission “to support the arts in Hernando County.”


“These grants help us do just that,” he said. “In the last four years, we have supported in excess of 30 art projects, which involved more than 30,000 people in the arts.”


And this year, the grant program carries particular importance for local arts groups; with council administrators feeling “a true responsibility to assist the art community now more than ever.” In June, the council awarded additional grants to four local performing arts groups and Chair Bill Yerrick stated, “The Council’s mission is to support the arts in Hernando County. These grants help meet an immediate need in an unprecedented situation. It is right that the Council does what it can and takes action now.”


“We still feel this way now in October,” said Allisa Babor, council spokesperson.


To access the CAG Grant Application & Information, visit https://www.hernandoarts.org/community-arts-grant-2021. On November 5, applicants will attend and answer questions regarding their application at a grant review workshop via Zoom. Recipients will be selected on December 3. On Dec. 11, awardees will be notified. A grant meeting will take place on January 12, with the project period taking place January 12 – Dec. 31. And January 12 will be the invoicing deadline for 2021 projects.


For questions, contact Cheryl Hill, Community Grant Program Coordinator. Email [email protected] or call 352.584.0429.


For further details and to apply, visit HernandoArts.org, or contact Community Arts Grant Program Coordinator Cheryl Hill by phone at 352-584-0429 or by email at [email protected].


The Hernando County Fine Arts Council was created in 1987 by the Board of County Commissioners to encourage, promote, and support all the creative arts in Hernando County and provide a means to showcase the arts. For information about the council, contact council vice-chair Beth Putnam at 352-573-8208, [email protected]


“The Community Arts Grants Program is designed to involve county residents in creating, appreciating, supporting, participating in, or learning about the creative arts in Hernando County,” said Putnam. “We are thrilled to help bring creative visions to life throughout Hernando County with this program and look forward to watching grantees utilize their winnings so that they may continue creating works of arts throughout the next year ahead.”


Hernando Art Beat is a designated space for the arts in Hernando County, and we welcome all creative artists and arts groups to be a part of it. Send your submissions anytime to community reporters Megan Hussey and Linda White-Francis at [email protected].


Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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