There’s a new Community Arts Grant program, and applications are now being accepted

The Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission in partnership with the Office of Cultural Affairs announced the new Community Arts Grant application is online and open to applicants through Dec. 3.

The grant is designed to support arts projects that provide innovative and/or participatory experiences reflecting the changing communities in which we live.

The projects should broaden access to arts experiences with an emphasis on bringing the community together to celebrate the diversity of artistic heritage and increase understanding, acceptance and positive regard among our communities, according to a news release from the city.

With the local resident population rapidly diversifying, a high strategic priority in the Virginia Beach Arts Plan 2030 is to develop and promote greater diversity of offerings — particularly in the area of culturally/ethnically specific arts.

“The Office of Cultural Affairs is actively pursuing ways to expand culturally diverse activities in Virginia Beach to directly fulfill City Council’s goal to be an inclusive community that is welcoming and empowers all,” said Emily Labows, the city’s cultural affairs director.” Over time, this will help strengthen and sustain our community.”

The Community Arts Grant program is open to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations whose purpose is to promote and develop diverse cultural arts programming, according to the news release.

Programs must take place within Virginia Beach and be open to the public. Groups representing underserved communities, including culturally ethnically diverse communities, are encouraged to apply.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.