Arts Funding Gets Creative

By Jennifer Burton
Artown Executive Director Beth Macmillan and Development Director Annelise McKenzie sort through the new Artown t-shirts

Artown Executive Director Beth Macmillan and Development Director Annelise McKenzie sort through the new Artown t-shirts

One day after the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced a record $20,000 dollar grant to Artown, the festival got news that Washoe county would also find a way to support it, through cash and in-kind gifts.  According to Artown executive director, Beth Macmillan, Washoe County commissioners had voted last year not to support any special events.   But in a show of support for the month-long arts festival, Washoe County Commissioners decided to give Artown $7,500 dollars from discretionary funds, provide the use of  the county's event ticketing system and waive venue  fees for the festival's Monday Night Music Series.  "Even though they weren't able to support it out of the Washoe County money, they were able to support it on a personal level,"  Macmillan said of the discretionary funds.  She said the funding shows incredible support at a time when arts funding is threatened by the economy.

Artown also recieves annual funding from the City of Reno as well as major sponsors and donors.  The festival kicks off in July and will include more than 350 events, many of them free.

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