Symphony receives Challenge America grant


The Central Ohio Symphony has received a Challenge America grant to support its April “Building CommUNITY” project. Building Community will focus on the strengths of an inclusive community, culminating in the final concert of the 41st season on Saturday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m. in Gray Chapel on the Ohio Wesleyan University campus in downtown Delaware.

The National Endowment for the Arts approved 1,187 grants totaling $27.3 million in the first round of fiscal year 2020 funding to support arts projects across the country. The Symphony is one of 145 Challenge America grants included in this round. The Challenge America funding primarily supports small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to populations that have limited access to the arts due to geography, ethnicity, economics or disability.

“The arts are at the heart of our communities, connecting people through shared experiences and artistic expression,” said Arts Endowment Chairperson Mary Anne Carter. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support projects like Building Community by the Central Ohio Symphony.”

This is the third NEA grant the Symphony has received, the last being for the “Local Focus” project last year. Executive Director Warren W. Hyer credits the NEA award to the organization’s commitment to serving the broader community outside the concert hall.

“It is significant to be awarded an NEA grant,” Hyer said. “Receiving a third recognizes the quality of our programming and our commitment to community engagement.”

The Building Community project has also received a PNC Arts Alive! grant from the PNC Foundation.

More information about the Building Community concert and related engagement projects will be available in the coming weeks.

Special to The Gazette

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