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SMAHC awards $11K to community orchestra effort

WORTHINGTON -- Efforts to form a Worthington Area Community Orchestra are getting a boost this year in the form of a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts & Humanities Council.

The council's board of directors recently awarded nearly $124,000 to regional projects thorough the Legacy Grants for Organizations and Communities grant program. That program is funded by the voter-approved tax established by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.

The board awarded $11,206 to the orchestra's fiscal agents, Friends of the Auditorium, in its second-ever funds distribution. The money will be used to organize and develop a 20-member Worthington area community string orchestra.

"It will help pay for the salaries of the director, concert master, salaries," explained Charles Carrera, an administrative assistant at SMAHC.

He said the organization will receive 80 percent of its grant money now, and the remaining 20 percent upon completion of the project. The group could also apply for more funding in years to come, he said.

The board also awarded $14,353 to Friends of the Auditorium to present the Eisenhower Dance Co. Healthy Kids Dance Residency for local youths; and $10,000 for the "Arts on the Move" project, which will present performing artists to the community and implement a marketing campaign.

Mountain Lake Public School will receive about $5,000 for the "Meander by Art" project to place public art in the business district of Mountain Lake, including a large Latino environment-themed mural.