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County Executive's Office

Dane Arts Debuts Video Highlighting Recipients of Dane Arts Need Grant Program, Importance of Art During COVID-19

July 03, 2020
Ariana Vruwink, 608-267-8823
County Executive

Today, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi joined the Dane County Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission to debut “Amidst COVID-19, Support Local Artists and Local Voices”—a video created to highlight the many local artists who have benefited from the Dane Arts Need Grant (DANG!) Program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since first launching in April, the DANG! Program has allowed over 205 local artists to receive $500 in financial support. The video “Amidst COVID-19, Support Local Artists and Local Voices” shares stories of independent working arts from the first round of DANG! awards and highlights the economic, cultural, creative and community impact of the arts in Dane County, Wisconsin.

“Dane County is committed to supporting local artists and providing opportunities for them to continue working during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said County Executive Parisi. “The Dane Arts Need Grant program has helped artists make ends meet and promote their artform in new ways. This video allows their stories and talents to be shared with the Dane County community.”

The DANG! program launched April 17 and started out at $15,000. In just two days, funds were exhausted. Dane Arts added $7,500 to support a total of 90 artists. On May 13, County Executive Parisi announced $100,000 in additional funds would go to the program. The funding was allocated to help more local artists continue to develop work throughout the pandemic, which has caused many to lose much needed income from cancelled workshops, performances, and events.

“Dane County Executive Parisi, the County Board, and the Cultural Arts Commission helped address an important need: to provide much needed relief funds for working artists.  It has been such a kind gesture under the most trying circumstances,” said Mark J. Fraire, Director of Dane Arts. “Artists are important creators and economic drivers and Dane County supports small business owners—our working artists.”

Artists could apply to the DANG! program to purchase products that would help them develop an online presence and promote their art form or present a forum through a live feed of music, theater, dance, performance art, history and/or multidisciplinary work. Artists could also use the funds to support the purchase of supplies and/or further develop their skills. Applicants needed to be a working artist with at least two years of activity. Those eligible for the grant program included musicians, dancers, actors/producers, poets/writers, visual artists, performers, and any individual working artist.