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Granting creativity: Arts council accepting applications for annual grant program
One important component to a well-rounded city is a vibrant arts program. The city of Mesquite has one, thanks to the Mesquite Arts Council.
The Mesquite Arts Council hands out grants to nonprofit art organization on an annual basis. Since the grant program started in 1992 they have distributed more than $668,000 to further the advancement of the arts in the Mesquite community. This year the program has $25,000 that they will distribute to worthy groups.
To qualify for a grant the organization must be a nonprofit. To apply for the grant, someone from the organization must fill out an online application, which is available at mesquiteartscouncil.org. The deadline to apply is Feb. 1.
"The maximum amount a group can receive is $5,000," said Mike Templeton, arts director. "The program is set up as a match program, so if they get awarded $5,000 they must also have $5,000 in additional funding from other sources. This makes them part of contributing to the economic growth in the area."
Templeton said most of the arts organizations provide part-time jobs for local residents, whether it's painting set designs or performing other technical duties.
"They also buy local goods. When we need paint, we usually go to Benjamin Moore or Sherman Williams in Mesquite to get it. When the groups finish their performance, they tend to go eat at a Mesquite restaurant," Templeton said.
One of the groups that receive annual funding through the program is the Texas Winds.
"They serve multiple cities and counties. They are made up of Dallas Symphony and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra members that travel to nursing homes and put on concerts for the residents," Templeton said. "These residents typically cannot leave the residence. When someone comes in and performs music from their era, the reaction that occurs is absolutely astonishing. There have been Alzheimer's patients that haven't spoken in years that will move to the music. The power of music is amazing. I think the arts council support of that program is huge."
The organization performs approximately 24 concerts in Mesquite per year, Templeton said.
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