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Mesquite, TX – September 17, 2020 – The Mesquite Arts Council has been awarded a $10,000 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant for support of Arts Engagement in American Communities. The funds will support the Mesquite Arts Council’s new virtual and online programming which include MAC Doodles, Virtual Workshops and the Tote-and-Go program.
Mesquite Arts Center Manager Cohn Drennan said, “The arts center has had to adapt to the impacts of the pandemic. Our staff and art partners have developed some wonderful virtual programs and safe contactless opportunities. This grant will allow us to continue offering art and culture to the citizens of Mesquite for free.” He shared in September they are hosting more than two dozen programs and activities for all ages and various art mediums. And, the NEA grant will provide funds to continue providing weekly educational online and family-focused activities through August 2021.
Drennan explained that during the April COVID-19 lock down the Arts Council staff started offering programming online and contactless content that evolved into a network of art and activity. The first project was the weekly MAC Doodles, a virtual doodling workshop for all skill levels. Staff then started producing virtual craft workshops including the Create Your Own series. To augment the craft workshops, the Arts Council started providing craft supply kits for families to pick up at the Arts Center and then watch the video instructions on the Arts Center YouTube channel later in the week. That activity evolved into the weekly Tote-and-Go program which provides art and craft kits with instructions for families to take home and create together. Tote-and-Go currently serves 100 community families every Monday morning. The public can visit www.cityofmesquite.com/ArtsCenter to view all the program details.
Drennan said, “This access to art and activity, during a time of uncertainty, has really helped so many remain positive, creative and hopeful.”