The state of Connecticut recently received the second largest grant in the country which it will use to support local artists. The $500,000 grant came from ArtPlace America, an organization that consists of 13 leading national and regional foundations and six of the nation’s largest banks. The grant was given to support Connecticut's CreateHereNow project.
CreateHereNow is a state project that will begin in July 2013 and continue through 2014. It operates through the Department of Economic and Community Development's (DECD) Office of the Arts. ArtPlace America supports programs in art and culture that transforms communities. The DECD will use the grant money to provide financial assistance to artists, crafters and arts-related entrepreneurs who want to starts small businesses in vacant storefronts.
The CreateHereNow project will give free rent for three months to qualified applicants, $500 in start-up funds, and free workshops designed for small businesses. Examples of some of the businesses who have received help include original works of art, handmade jewelry, weaving, screen printing, and other art-related businesses.
Five new businesses have already open as a result of the program. Other interested small businesses may apply online.
For more information, visit www.createherenow.org/