Subject: The Director's Desk: Funding DIscussion + SAP Deadline Aug 1 + CT Poet Laureate & Troubadour Announced

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The Arts, Culture and Tourism Funding 
Roadmap Project

In December 2021, representatives of the arts, culture and tourism sectors met in Hartford to discuss their priorities. Now, Connecticut Arts AllianceConnecticut Humanities, and Connecticut Tourism Coalition are working together to follow up on that convening to advocate for meaningful, reliable, and equitable state funding for these communities.

Join us for a virtual conversation and give your feedback on how increased and consistent funding in these sectors would benefit your work, your business, or your organization! 

Your input will inform both the strategy and the messaging for the 2023 legislative session with the goal of increased funding for all. If you have a connection to the arts, culture, and tourism sector as an artist, volunteer, business owner, non-profit executive, trustee, or some other role entirely, please consider participating. We want to hear from you!

Join the Connecticut Arts AllianceConnecticut Humanities, and Connecticut Tourism Coalition in a virtual session.  RSVP to provide your input and feedback 

Dates & Times: 
While participants are encouraged to join the session for their region, all are welcome at any session.
Monday, August 1 at 4 PM (Northwest Connecticut & Greater Waterbury)
Tuesday, August 2 at 2 PM (Greater New Haven & Greater Hartford)
Wednesday, August 3 at 4 PM (Eastern Connecticut & the Shoreline)
Thursday, August 4 at 12 PM (Fairfield County)
Monday, August 8 at 8 AM (Statewide)
Tuesday, August 9 at 4 PM (Western Connecticut)
One URL for all sites. Choose your site when you register
These community conversations are part of The Arts, Culture and Tourism Funding Roadmap project, a partnership of Connecticut Arts AllianceConnecticut Humanities, and Connecticut Tourism Coalition in partnership with regional and statewide arts, culture and tourism organizations.
The FY2Supporting Arts grant program is open and accepting applications.

The Supporting Arts grant program provides general operating support to help Connecticut’s arts organizations and municipal arts departments cover programmatic costs associated with their mission-related work. This type of grant is flexible and gives the grantee the ability to use the funds where they are most needed. 

Deadline to Apply: Monday, August 1, 2022 at 11:59 PM
The Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) will provide $1M in general operating support grants in FY23.  Grant awards will be proportional to organizational operating expenses for their last completed fiscal year and will be calculated based on a combination of operating expenses and available funds. The minimum grant award is $1,000. The maximum grant award will be dependent on available funding and the number of eligible applicants. All eligible applicants will receive funding.

Note: This funding model is the same funding model that was used to determine awards for the FY22 CT Cultural Fund General Operating Support and the FY22 General Operating Support for Theaters and Performing Groups programs.

Want to be a Panelist?
If you are interested in serving as a panelist for the Supporting Arts grant program, please take a moment to complete this on-line form.

DECD will begin accepting Round 2 applications on Monday, August 1, 2022. 
The application deadline is Friday, October 7, 2022. 
Awardees will be announced in December 2022 (tentative). 
The Community Investment Fund 2030 (CIF) was established in 2021 with the goal of fostering economic development in historically under-served communities across the state. CIF will provide a total of up to $875 million to eligible municipalities as well as nonprofit organizations, including arts and culture organizations, and community development corporations that operate within them.

Community Investment Fund 2030 projects must:
  • Promote economic or community development in an eligible municipality where the project is located, and 
  • Consistently and systematically advance fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to under-served and marginalized communities such as Black, Latino and indigenous and native American persons, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; persons comprising the LGBTQ+ community; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.   
The municipality and nonprofit arts and culture organizations that serve the eligible municipality may apply for grants for:
  • Capital Improvement Projects: brownfield remediation, affordable housing, clean energy development, and housing or public facility rehabilitation

  • Small Business Capital Programs: revolving or micro-loan programs, gap financing, and start-up funds to establish small businesses in eligible municipalities

For the latest updates from the Office of the Community Investment Fund, visit our website and sign up to join our mailing list.
Antoinette Brim-Bell
Connecticut Poet Laureate
Kala Farnham
Connecticut State Troubadour

The Connecticut Office of the Arts has announced the appointment of Antoinette Brim-Bell of West Haven as Connecticut Poet Laureate and Kala Farnham of Pomfret Center as Connecticut State Troubadour. Both will serve in their respected honorary positions from July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2025.
Brim-Bell and Farnham were selected from an exceptionally strong field of candidates, whose works and public activities on behalf of poetry and music, reflect the richness and diversity of the arts in Connecticut today. Brim-Bell succeeds Margaret Gibson and Farnham succeeds Nekita Waller.
Antoinette Brim-Bell of West Haven is Connecticut’s 8th State Poet Laureate.

Antoinette Brim-Bell is a poet, printmaker, and author of These Women You Gave MeIcarus in Love, and Psalm of the Sunflower and her work has been featured in various journals and magazines. She has received recognition as a Cave Canem Foundation fellow, a recipient of the Walker Foundation Scholarship to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies including Villanelles, Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander, Critical Insights: Alice Walker, 44 on 44: Forty-four African American Writers on the 44th President of the United States, and the Whiskey of our Discontent: an anthology of essays commemorating Ms. Gwendolyn Brooks, winner of the 2017 Central New York Book Award for nonfiction.

In addition to her literary accomplishments, Antoinette hosted a series of Black History Month television programs for the OneWorld Progressive Institute and is a former guest host of Patrick Oliver’s Literary Nation Talk Radio (KABF 88.3, Little Rock) for which she interviewed a variety of entertainers, literary figures, political pundits and community developers. Antoinette is a Professor of English at Capital Community College.

The Witness Stone project of Old Lyme has galvanized her interest in collaboration and her greatest aspiration is for connections and collaborations between poets across the state, for diverse populations to come together to share their poetic stories, and for poets, visual artists, musicians, and stage performers to engage in poetic expression. 

As part of the review and selection process, panelists acknowledged the strength and diverse content and style of Antoinette’s poetry and her inclusive vision for the State of CT Poet Laureate position. The panel of reviewers included Michael CollierOctavio QuintanillaKimolee Eryn, and Alison Meyers.

Kala Farnham of Pomfret Center is Connecticut’s 18th State Troubadour.

Kala Farnham is a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter from the Quiet Corner of Connecticut. She began her musical journey at a young age, and in high school she established herself as a working musician. In college, she furthered her studies in Music Performance and Composition while also pursing Human Services and Mental Health. Together, these interests drive her passion for the healing and transformative power of musical storytelling. Therefore, it is no surprise that Kala also serves as a certified Crisis Counselor, and works with an array of populations such as at-risk youth, those who suffer from mental illness, and survivors of trauma. She has taught, performed for, and worked with youth programs, students with learning disabilities, individuals recovering from addiction, and those who have lost loved ones to suicide. Kala is currently studying sound healing and Nada Yoga and plans to incorporate elements of the practice into her work.

Kala’s signature songwriting has been likened to a reinvention of the traditional folk with influences of pop, Broadway, and world music. Her affinity for poetry and creative writing is evident through lyricism that springs to life with heartfelt and creative storytelling, cultural references, and rich metaphor. Her work has garnered numerous awards and media attention, including 2020 Falcon Ridge Festival Emerging Artist, 2019 Rose Garden Performing Songwriter Contest winner, 2019 Rocky Mountain Folks Fest honorable mention

In this new role, Kala plans to apply her foundations and strong background in music performance and human service in this honorary role to foster healing and community connection through music.

As part of the review and selection process, panelist's praised Kala's musicianship and songwriting, noting that she exudes an 'open energy' sure to attract listeners and perhaps inspire young artists' interest in the Troubadour opportunity. The panel of reviewers included Daniel Salazar Jr.Nekita Waller, and Jake Goldbas.  

Gate Lodge at Mathews Park, 301 West Ave, Norwalk, CT 06850, United States
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