February 2, 2021
West Virginia: Rural Youth Engagement through Public Art
The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History (WVDACH) and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts are fostering creative youth development, civic engagement and rural placemaking through their new Rural Youth Engagement through Public Art Grant. The grant provides up to $5,000 for projects that directly involve youth in planning and implementing accessible public artworks that enliven their communities. While the capital city of Charleston has an extensive public art program, formal mechanisms for the propagation of public art are less common in the state’s smaller communities. The Rural Youth Engagement through Public Art initiative addresses that need while also promoting creative youth development opportunities across a state that is predominantly rural.
Nearly $65,000 is available to nonprofit arts organizations, schools, local governments and nonprofit youth groups to collaborate with artists on new artworks. Allowable expenses include artist and consulting fees, materials and equipment. Projects can be installed outdoors or indoors but must be accessible to the public free of charge.
To ensure that funds are distributed to the communities that need them the most, projects must be located in places with a population smaller than 25,000, and preference for funding will go to counties that have been designated as at-risk or distressed by the Appalachian Regional Commission. Organizations that did not receive Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding through WVDACH also will receive priority. Funds will be made available at a reduced matching rate, 25% of the total project costs.
To learn more, contact WVDACH Cultural Facilities and Capital Resources Coordinator Jenna Green.
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