DAYTON, OH – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today joined local arts leaders at the Dayton Arcade to show how Shuttered Venue Operator Grants (SVOG) have helped local cultural and entertainment small businesses survive the pandemic and reopen. The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance reopened for its new season last week.
Sen. Brown was a cosponsor of the Save Our Stages legislation that established the SVOG grants, and helped pass the American Rescue Plan that expanded the program. The program awarded nearly 400 Ohio venues more than $300 million in initial and supplemental rounds of funding – ranking the state ninth for most amount of money received.
“The American Rescue Plan we passed this spring was a lifeline for venues and arts organizations like Dayton Performing Arts. We know these venues have been among those hardest hit by the pandemic. These are small businesses – economic anchors and also important cultural and entertainment hubs – that support local economies. I will never stop fighting for them,” said Brown.
The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, which is composed of the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic, received nearly $1.2 million in SVOG funds. This has helped cover all the expenses they’ve dealt with over the past year, without any in-person ticket sales.
Brown was joined at the event by local arts leaders who spoke about what the investment has meant for the community, including Lisa Hanson, Culture Works President and CEO; Neal Gittleman, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra; and Issac Jones, Dancer at the Dayton Ballet.
“Just last weekend the Dayton Philharmonic was thrilled to kick off the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance’s 2021-2022 performance season,” said Neal Gittleman, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic. “Over the next three weeks, Dayton Opera and Dayton Ballet will take the stage, too. Funds from the SVOG grant were absolutely vital to getting us here and allowing us to come out of the COVID-ravaged season, living up to our ‘We’re back and better than ever!’ tagline. Senator Brown’s support of the SVOG was instrumental to getting the program implemented, and for that, we are deeply thankful.”
“After enduring more than a year of cancelled performances and postponed events, our local arts organizations and cultural institutions are excited to get back to the work of creating memorable experiences for us all,” said Lisa Hanson, President & CEO of Culture Works. “Already, more than $18 million has been awarded to venue operators in the Dayton Region through the SVOG program. I cannot thank Senator Brown and our other elected officials enough for working together to provide funding that employs thousands of creative professionals right here in our community.”
“The last year, as an artist I can say, was incredibly challenging and myself and the other dancers are so grateful to Senator Brown and everyone who helped pass the shuttered venue operators grant,” said Issac Jones, Dancer at the Dayton Ballet. “The grants mean that we can continue producing high quality art in a city that we love. I’m really proud to call this city home.”