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PACF donates $16K to Mid-Ohio Valley art organizations

Jessie Siefert, managing director of the Parkersburg Art Center, poses with a ceremonial check from the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — The Parkersburg Area Community Foundation has stepped up to the plate to financially help local arts groups struggling through the pandemic.

The community foundation awarded $16,000 in operating support grants to the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra — Parkersburg, the Smoot Theatre, Artsbridge, Parkersburg Art Center and the Actors Guild of Parkersburg

Closures because of the restrictions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus have put a financial strain on operations, such as at the Smoot Theatre and the Actors Guild where performances and programs that provided income were nixed. The Art Center has been significantly impacted with the cancellation of classes and the inability to rent its venue space.

At the same time, organizations have taken innovative approaches to continuing to offer services in new ways.

While access was available to federal C.A.R.E.S. Act loans and grants, more support is needed to ensure that these critical community organizations can remain sustainable. The community foundation has stepped up.

Amanda Stevens, executive director of Artsbridge, poses with a ceremonial check from the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation. (Photo Provided)

The arts agencies play a major role in community development and tourism, personal and community enrichment and individual well-being. Several arts organizations are anchors for downtown Parkersburg development and revitalization.

The foundation reached out to the arts and culture community to identify needs and opportunities during the pandemic. The foundation then recruited assistance its Civic Leaders Fellowship Program to review each organization’s needs and award relief grants.

The grants will provide needed and immediate assistance to help each of the organizations. With the many unknowns facing the country and community in the upcoming weeks and months due to the pandemic, the foundation encourages citizens to continue supporting arts and culture programs.

A variety of ways are available to help through online classes, workshops and performances, donate tickets to canceled events and membership dues back to the organization in lieu of a refund, donate directly to an agency and encourage friends and family to get involved.

Individuals who would like to make an impact in the region’s arts and culture community are encouraged to contact the Foundation at 304 428-4438 to discuss options and opportunities.

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