Standing Rock Cultural Arts and WKSU turned out to be the big winners among this year's Celebrate Kent! grant award recipients.
Both nonprofit Kent organizations received $10,000 through this year's program, which is designed to sponsor events that bring people into Kent and stimulate the local economy.
will get $10,000 for the annual Kent State Folk Festival, which includes the Folk Alley 'Round Town night where about 30 venues around the city feature multiple live folk acts all on a single night.
Standing Rock will get $5,000 for the Who's Your Mama? Earth Day festival and another $5,000 for the Downtown Innovative Community Events (DICE) series, which includes six festivals such as the Make Mine With Ice carving event and the fall Cider Festival.
The next big winner in this year's grant program is the Western Reserve Folk Arts Association, which owns and runs the . The group will get $5,350 for a planned "Taste of Kent," which will feature multiple Kent restaurants in an outdoor festival-type event. The group also received $500 for the Downtown Kent Ghost Walk, which takes place each year around Halloween and features ghost stories told in different downtown locations.
Other grant recipients are:
- Kent Historical Society, $1,200 for the "All About Kent Speaker Series."
- Kent Jaycees, $700 for the "."
- Crooked River Fine Arts Council, $1,500 for the 2nd Annual Kent Blues Fest.
Kent City Council members approved the award distribution this week as recommended by city staff.
The city received applications requesting a total of $41,355, but only $30,000 was available. That amount is more than last year, when the city had slightly more than $10,000 for the grant program.
Kent Economic Development Director Dan Smith said a big part of the program and approved events depends on how positive an effect an event will have on Kent's economy.
"We want to hear the cash registers ring as part of these projects," Smith said.