Mackenzie-Thurley said the Ohio Arts Council has taken a lot of time to personally engage with local organizations throughout the state, which has had a “...really strong impact here in Butler County, Hamilton and the Fitton Center.”
For organizations like the Fitton Center, receiving grants through the state is a thorough process involving a detailed application, continual reporting on financials and artistic endeavors, and proving a significant community impact, Mackenzie-Thurley said.
Mackenzie-Thurley said the $40,000 grant matches what the center has been receiving throughout the pandemic as the center’s fundraising capabilities were hindered throughout the pandemic.
“We feel a valued part of the economy, we feel a valued part of the society,” Mackenzie-Thurley said. “We feel really valued. And we felt that, strongly, during COVID as well — that the arts needed to be supported and encouraged, and we’ve really appreciated that. And in turn, we’ve tried to serve the community as best we can.”
This year’s funding in Butler County also went toward short-term art initiatives, education projects, and funding for two of the county’s individual artists to “...provide support for master artists to work with apprentices to build understanding and proficiency in folk and traditional art forms,” the release said.
Donna Collins, the executive director for the Ohio Arts Council, said these grants play a vital part in the “...health and vitality of communities across the state.”
“By broadening access to the arts, the Ohio Arts Council is keeping our promise to strengthen our state and provide greater opportunity for Ohioans,” Collins said.