Badge of Honor: Jacksonville Nonprofit Awarded Grant from National Endowment for Arts

School was out, but fifth-grader Maia Thaxton was sticking around to practice for an upcoming production of the “Wiz.” She and other students at John E. Ford Montessori School take part in a twice-weekly program that connects them to the visual and performing arts through the Cathedral Arts Project in Jacksonville.

At a time when nonprofits in Florida are competing for what some are calling the worst state funding for the arts in years, Cathedral Arts Project will receive a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. CAP will apply the money to administer and publish a survey, analysis and report about arts on the First Coast (a region of the U.S. state of Florida, located on the Atlantic coast of North Florida).

The program will be carried out through Any Given Child Jacksonville, an advocacy arm of CAP, a nonprofit provider of ongoing instruction in the visual and performing arts for elementary and middle school students in Duval County.

More than $80 million was approved to be disbursed through 1,071 grants as part of the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018.  Projects receiving support in this latest round of funding range from a classical guitar education program for elementary students in Missouri to a printmaking residency for Native American artists in Oregon.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of said a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts provides a badge of honor that organizations can utilize to reach out to additional donors for funds. She said an NEA grant can also unlock matching grants from state and local agencies.

The NEA, which has been repeatedly targeted for cuts in funding, in February announced an initial $25 million in grants aimed at providing jobs to artists, administrators and other creative workers and creating arts experiences for millions of people. Additional awards will be made in the coming months. These NEA funding opportunities as well as others grants in support of the arts from government agencies, corporations, foundations, and local nonprofits can be identified on GrantWatch.

Cathedral Arts Project CEO Kimberly Hyatt said a cut in state funds will affect the number of after-school programs that her nonprofit can offer and, as a result, how many students can be served. Cultural and arts grants from the state can be as high as $500,000 for buildings like museums and symphony halls. But, recently approved state funds for CAP are less than a quarter of last year’s figure. Though initially recommended for the maximum program grant — $150,000 — Cathedral Arts Project will receive less than $10,000 toward its overall $2 million budget.

Nonprofits, public and private foundations, small businesses and entrepreneurs frustrated by the often-overwhelming process involved with searching for grants for the arts and cultural programs can identify funding opportunities that are easy to read and simple to comprehend at Sign-up here to receive the weekly GrantWatch newsletter which features geographic-specific funding opportunities.

About the Author: Staff Writer for GrantWatch

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