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Feds Give One of Five Richest Counties $25,000 Arts Grant

Two weeks ago, we growled about Arlington County being identified as one of the nation's five richest counties. So one would think that county bureaucrats didn't need to go "hat-in-hand" to the federal government for a $25,000 grant to fund an Arts Truck.

Consequently, we were surprised to read in ARLnow.com today that "Arlington County has received a $25,000 federal grant to fund programming for its Art Truck." In addition, the County Board will appropriate $25,000 of county tax dollars in "one-to-one matching funds."

ARLnow.com's Chris Teale continues, writing:

"The National Endowment for the Arts awarded the grant, which will be matched by $25,000 in county money for a total of $50,000 in funding, in June. The Arlington County Board voted unanimously Saturday (December 16) to receive the grant.

"The grant will help with expenses, commission original artwork and hire artists for programming. The Art Truck is part of approximately 1,000 projects to receive federal money.

"The County Board approved purchasing the mobile arts and performance venue last year to partially fill the void left by the closure of the Artisphere in Rosslyn.

"It travels to locations like farmers markets, neighborhood events, public libraries and after-school events, with its projects ranging from pop-up galleries to performances.

“The main goal of the Arlington Art Truck is to demystify the artmaking process, to tear down the four walls, turn it inside out and bring the ‘museum’ to the people,” Michelle Isabelle-Stark, director of Arlington Arts and Cultural Affairs, said in a statement earlier this year.

"The total $50,000 funding help pay for artists’ fees, transportation and hotels ($26,130); vehicle costs ($8,455); technology needs ($4,027); printing, art and office supplies ($5,638); and marketing and advertising materials ($5,750)."

You can read more about the NEA funding grant at the county's Economic Development Department website here. The County Manager's 7-page report to the Arlington County Board (Agenda Item No. 23 on Saturday's December 16, 2017 agenda) authorizing acceptance of the arts grant includes the NEA letter.

As the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reportedly gets closer to  final passage this week, all we've heard from Democratic politicians is how most of the tax cuts are going to the rich. Well then, what is a $25,000 art truck grant going to one of the five richest of America's 3,141 counties?

And if Arlington arts lovers are looking for real arts galleries, they need do little more than head east on US Route 50, and follow it to the U.S. Capitol. For additional information, Wikipedia provides a list of museums and art galleries in the District.

Growls readers concerned about wasteful federal spending are encouraged to engage their members of Congress. Contact information is available at the Library of Congress' Congress.gov. Taxpayers living in Virginia's Arlington County can contact:

  • Senator Mark Warner (D) -- write to him or call (202) 224-2023
  • Senator Tim Kaine (D) -- write to him or call (202) 224-4024
  • Representative Don Beyer (D) -- write to him or call (202) 225-4376

Be sure to ask for a written response. And tell them ACTA sent you.

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