Stimulus-funded arts grants preserve nearly 80 jobsby Euan Kerr, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota State Arts Board Friday announced grants totaling just over $316,000 using funds from the federal stimulus package.
State Arts Board Executive Director Sue Gens said the funding is specifically meant to preserve jobs, and the groups getting the money will apply it to specific positions.
It's around 80 jobs, and those might be part-time jobs, they might be contracted jobs, they might be full-time jobs and they were asking for a portion of the salary," Gens said. "Every organization had the option to define what their job needs were and how they might be able to use the funds."
Gens said it's important that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act include money for the arts.
"That the President and members of congress recognized that the arts industry is significant in the country and that it, like so many other industries was being affected by the down economy," Gens said. "So it is really is significant on two fronts. One is the dollars that will be available here in Minnesota, but also the fact that the arts were part of the overall stimulus package."
The board received three million dollars worth of requests for stimulus funds. One-million dollars in National Endowment for the Arts stimulus money has already been distributed in Minnesota.