the arts and (yuch!) money

When we think of the arts, we don’t think of money. We think of going to a DC museum, and just walking in. No charge. But someone has to pay the lighting bill.

Chuck Benjamin, BlackRock’s Director of PR and Marketing, has served on grants committees for the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County…” (The council does not list its current committee members.)

The same arts council has doled out (among others) the following mini-grants for FY 2009:

$59,450 to BlackRock Center for the Arts (pdf).

(The county is already paying the mortgage. Is this for the water bill?)

$3,470 to Charlotte Sommers “to attend the O’Neill Center National Critics Institute, an intensive writing workshop.”

Apparently, Sommers is exercising two of her talents. Getting financial assistance (even if it is for herself) and writing. Before her current position at BlackRock, she spent part of her time writing about theatre and other fine arts topics.

It’s good to see that Montgomery County is filtering some money upcounty. It’s easy to just focus on Silver Spring, Rockville, etc. These are just baby grants, however. But why would BlackRock expect further money from the county? They already pay BlackRock’s mortgage each month.

The Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County is a nonprofit organization designated as Montgomery County’s local arts agency. They promote the arts and humanities, disbursing funds to nonprofit organizations, artists and scholars. Funding is provided by the Montgomery County Government (taxpayers), the Maryland State Arts Council (taxpayers), corporations, organizations and individuals.

Applications will be accepted in October for the next round of grants for projects planned from Jan. 1 through June 30. For information, go to the council’s website.


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