Newton will designate a total of $125,000 in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to support local arts efforts, Mayor Ruthanne Fuller said.
The funding will include $75,000 for Revitalize Creative Newton, a grant program supporting Newton’s arts and culture sector, according to Fuller. The program helps cover expenses related to reopening and resuming cultural programming and services.
Fuller said details of the program will be released soon, and noted that Newton artists and arts organizations have been “seriously hurt” by the pandemic closures.
“This funding will provide much needed support to organizations within our arts community as they work to recover, rebuild and re-energize our city,” Fuller said.
Another $50,000 in federal pandemic relief funding will be used to conduct a feasibility study for a permanent performance pavilion at the Newton Centre Bowl, which is adjacent to the Newton Centre Playground, according to Fuller.
The natural incline of the green space has served as an amphitheater-style venue, she said. The large park offers parking and allows families to enjoy performances without worrying about traffic, according to Fuller.
That space has been used this summer for a Sunday Concert series that has drawn an average of about 300 audience members each week. Shows have included performances from the New Philharmonia Orchestra, a live puppet event, live bands, and July Fourth festivities for children.
“An outdoor performance venue in Newton Centre could be a wonderful new community resource and gathering spot, plus create economic benefits,” Fuller said in the statement. “The ideas of our artists, performers, nonprofits, businesses, residents and City Councilors will shape our decisions during the feasibility study.”
John Hilliard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.