Updated July 9, 2020 - 11:27 am
The city of Las Vegas will receive a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the CARES Act.
Once it is safe and feasible for the city’s art institutions to resume operations, nearly all of which were paused because of the coronavirus pandemic, the money will enable funding for arts programs and performances.
“Our intention is to use the grant to help us pay for art contracts, bring artists into cultural centers for classes and workshops and help the Rainbow Company Youth Theatre that the city runs,” says Ally Haynes-Hamblen, the city’s director of cultural affairs.
The National Endowment for the Arts received more than 3,100 eligible applications for the $45 million available in direct assistance. The 855 recipients were announced July 1. These nonmatching funds can be used to support staff salaries, fees for artists or contractual personnel and facilities costs.
The funding will also be used to support facility operations for the city’s Artists in Residence partnerships, which were launched in response to several closures that resulted from the COVID-19 crisis.
“We asked community members what they needed, and they said things like, ‘I need space for my dance company’ or ‘My drum line team needs space to offer classes,’ ” Haynes-Hamblen says. “Most spaces are out of business or can’t afford rent. We partner with them to offer rehearsal space and classroom space. In exchange, they can provide classes and workshops and continue to be a presence.”
The Contemporary West Dance Theater is currently operating out of the Charleston Heights Arts Center, where about 10 dancers are rehearsing and creating a new piece. Haynes-Hamblen says that they hope to offer dance workshops this summer, if the limits on crowd sizes are relaxed.
“We have so many creative professionals employed in Las Vegas — on the Strip but also in little theaters and galleries in the Arts District,” the cultural affairs director says. “It’s a huge workforce in Las Vegas that is out of work. We’re trying to do everything we can, especially at a time when the arts community is burgeoning, about to come into its own. We need to make sure that doesn’t fade.”