Earlier this summer, the Moab Arts and Recreation Center’s future was uncertain. Because of the economic crisis brought on by COVID-19, many municipalities across the country—Moab included—have had to cut funding for their arts and recreation programs. The normal annual arts budget of $40,000 had been slashed to zero and the staff of the MARC had to adapt.

“We started applying to several grants around the country for funding,” recalled Makeda Barkley, assistant MARC director, “and we were awarded one of the most competitive grants in the nation.”

On June 10, the National Endowment for the Arts announced their second round of grant funding—1,144 new awards totaling $84 million for organizations in all 50 states—for the 2020 fiscal year. Among these new grant recipients was the MARC, which will receive an Art Works award of $20,000 for public community arts initiatives.

“These awards demonstrate the resilience of the arts in America, showcasing not only the creativity of their arts projects but the organizations’ agility in the face of a national health crisis,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter.“We celebrate organizations like Moab Arts for providing opportunities for learning and engagement through the arts in these times.”

Since 1996, the MARC has been the beating heart of the arts in Moab, from hosting art classes to showcasing the well-known local Art Walk. The organization also hosts movement arts classes, music classes, poetry readings and arts council meetings.

“We wouldn’t have been able to continue our programming without this NEA funding,” Barkley continued. “We will hopefully be able to safely continue our art classes and public art around town.”

This NEA grant will fund several of the MARC’s different community art projects, including art pianos, murals, sculptures, Story Slams, Moab Arts Reuse Residency, rotating art shows, and ArTTrails. The MARC also plans to use the grant to fund partnerships with other Moab arts organizations to re-grant within Moab and Grand County.

City matches $20K grant