ArtsQuest gets $10,000 grant for economic development

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ArtsQuest has been chosen to receive a $10,000 grant from Ovation, a national multi-platform network devoted to “artists and every kind of artistic expression.”

The grant was awarded to the Bethlehem-based nonprofit for its contribution to local economic development and revenue growth as well as community revitalization.

In its first year of operation, ArtsQuest's SteelStacks location has contributed more than $30 million to the local economy and created 142 new jobs, said Julie Benjamin, vice president of community partnerships at ArtsQuest.

Economic development is an integral part of the organization's goals, explained Benjamin.

A huge part of ArtsQuest's mission is to “assist in neighborhood stabilization, making South Side a vibrant place to live work and visit,” she added.

ArtsQuest will use its innOVATION grant to support the SteelStacks Arts and Culture Campus, a project which uses arts and cultural programming to lead the strategic redevelopment of the former Bethlehem Steel plant, one of the largest industrial brownfields in the nation.

The local organization was one of five nationwide to receive grants through the network's $95,000 inaugural innOVATION Grant Program.

The program is being administered in partnership with Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading organization for advancing the arts and arts education.

"The arts teach us how to look at challenging situations from different perspectives, how to find the common ground that unites us and how to use our different skills and individual strengths in partnership to resolve those challenges," said Charles Segars, CEO of Ovation. "The spirit of growth and renewal that the arts and artists bring to their communities move all of us forward in the creative economy and Ovation is committed to supporting their efforts."

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