Normal Cuts Funding for Harmon Arts Grants by 50%

 The Normal Town Council will officially approve this year's Harmon Arts Grant award recipients Monday evening, providing just half of last year's total funding for local arts programs like those administered by the McLean County Arts Center. (Photo: McLean County Arts Center/Facebook)

The Normal Town Council will officially approve this year's Harmon Arts Grant award recipients Monday evening, providing just half of last year's total funding for local arts programs like those administered by the McLean County Arts Center. (Photo: McLean County Arts Center/Facebook)

The arts are feeling the squeeze of a tighter budget in Normal with reduced funding for the Town’s Harmon Arts Grant program this year.

The Town allocated $25,000 toward the program to help support the arts in Normal, just half of last year’s funding levels.

A review committee including former Mayor Paul Harmon, Mayor Chris Koos, City Manager Pam Reece and Interim Assistant City Manager Teri Legner chose 18 programs for full or partial funding this year.

The money will be doled out following official approval by the Normal Town Council Monday evening.

This year’s grant recipients and awards are:

  • Brass Band of Central Illinois, $1,100

  • Community Players Theatre, $600

  • Crossroads Area Student Theatre (CAST), $600

  • Further Jazz, $1,200

  • Heartland Theatre, $1,500

  • Illinois Symphony Orchestra, $2,000

  • Illinois Voices Theatre, $750

  • Illinois State University ‐ Midwest Institute of Opera, $1,850

  • Illinois State University ‐ Shakespeare Festival, $2,000

  • Illinois State University – University Galleries, $1,750

  • Illinois Wesleyan University – Illinois Chamber Music Festival, $1,200

  • McLean County Arts Center, $1,500

  • Normal Community West High School Bands, $1,000

  • Prairie Fire Theatre, $2,000

  • Sound of Illinois, $1,000

  • Twin Cities Ballet, $1,500

  • USA Ballet, $1,500

  • YWCA Express Yourself, $1,950

The Town also saw reduced grants requests, receiving 28 applications for projects totaling $74,297, down from last year’s 30 requests totaling $90,067.

The Town created the program in 1993 in honor of former Mayor Paul Harmon’s dedication to the arts.