News & Updates

Tamarack Foundation To Create Artist Toolkit With $50,000 NEA Grant

The Tamarack Foundation for the Arts will use a $50,000 matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to create a digital toolkit to help communities across West Virginia integrate the arts into their economic development plans.

“We couldn’t be more pleased,” said Executive Director Renee Margocee. “The NEA’s generous Our Town grant will help us connect artists, community leaders and arts organizations with the helpful resources they need to use the arts, culture and design to turn their communities into more lively, beautiful and resilient places to live and work.”

In partnership with the Arts and Humanities Council of Jefferson County, the Foundation will spend the next six months building a cultural asset map of the state; soliciting input from artists, art organizations and community leaders to identify topics of most concern to them; and collecting examples of best practices from across the country that focus on organizational structure, marketing opportunities, visibility and resources, and special initiatives, she said.

By next year, community leaders across the Mountain State will be able to find helpful information on such topics as how to launch a public arts project that will include examples of successful projects, what a contract for creating public art should look like, and lists of artists from Tamarack’s Creative Network who can guide the work or be hired to complete the project.

“We want to serve as a connector between artists and community leaders who understand that the arts are a critical economic driver for community revitalization projects.” Margocee said.

The Tamarack Foundation for the Arts is a 501(c)3 organization that provides business training, education and financial assistance to West Virginia creative entrepreneurs to help grow their businesses, access new markets and build bridges with consumers, government leaders and others to support a strong economy reflecting the state’s proud heritage of art and craft.

It was one of 89 organizations across the country, including eight West Virginia organizations receiving a total of $822,900, to share in $6.89 million in grants recently awarded through the NEA’s Our Town program. Our Town grants supports partnerships that work to revitalize neighborhoods by placing arts at the table with land-use, transportation, economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety strategies to address a community’s challenges.