GAC gets state grant

By Patricia Ann Speelman - [email protected]

SIDNEY — The Ohio Arts Council (OAC) has awarded Gateway Arts Council (GAC) a sustainability grant of $8,945, one of almost 500 grants totalling $11 million which the former agency has awarded to arts organizations statewide for 2016.

GAC has received similar grants from the OAC almost annually for the last 15 years. The monies distributed by OAC are tax dollars, part of the state budget developed by the legislature and signed by the governor.

“Sustainability means it’s for total operations. It’s not for any one specific program,” said Ellen Keyes, GAC executive director, of the local award. OAC makes such grants on a four-year cycle.

“We’ll get this every year for four years, theoretically, if I do what I have to do (to report how the funds are used) and themoney at the state holds,” Keyes said.

To apply for the grant, GAC staff had to provide detailed information about programs, budgets and participation by uploading data online. The process allowed GAC access to complete a financial health analysis as part of the state’s cultural data project.

“They give you norms for organizations your size,” Keyes said. “We’re exactly where we should be. I believe this year, we were right at 50 percent earned income and 50 percent contributed income.”

The OAC requires rigorous reporting and accountability, which Keyes appreciates.

“It’s a lot of work, but it should be a lot of work. This is taxpayer money that we receive. We can prove that we have properly used taxpayer dollars. I’m glad they ask for accountability.”

By Patricia Ann Speelman

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824. Follow her on Twitter @PASpeelmanSDN.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4824. Follow her on Twitter @PASpeelmanSDN.