U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and local arts leaders on Tuesday touted the impact of millions of dollars in federal arts grants that local organizations received to help them survive the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brown co-sponsored the Save Our Stages legislation that established the Shuttered Venue Operator Grants grants, which helped local cultural and entertainment small businesses stay afloat during the pandemic and reopen. The program, passed last December and expanded by way of the American Rescue Plan this spring, awarded nearly 400 Ohio venues more than $300 million infunding.

Ohio ranked ninth for most amount of money received.

“One of the goals we had in the Senate was to make sure (arts) organizations can continue,” Brown said during the event at the Dayton Arcade Rotunda.

“Save Our Stages mattered for the artists themselves and especially for the communities in keeping these art traditions going,” Brown said. “For cities the size of Dayton to have this quality of art, performing art, music and museums is really phenomenal.”

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