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by Taras Malta

This university and Prince George’s County are set to reap the benefits of the Maryland State Arts Council’s allotment of nearly $13.4 million in arts grants for fiscal 2015, a figure Gov. Martin O’Malley announced July 29 on the council’s website.

The Arts Council distributed the grants, which increased from $12.7 million last fiscal year, among 263 arts organizations and 24 local arts councils across the state, said Kate McMillan, the council’s communications manager.

The grants will continue to help nurture a booming arts industry that has a statewide economic impact of $1.07 billion a year and spurs $345 million a year in visitor spending, McMillan said. She added that arts organization grantees alone support 12,700 jobs across the state.

In terms of local benefits, the county will receive about $1,007,948 from the council, with $131,738 awarded in the form of a “Community Arts Development” grant to the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council, said Rhonda Dallas, the county art council’s executive director.

Dallas said these funds will be used to increase access to higher quality arts programs, create opportunities for emerging industries, promote arts in education and build up local artists and arts organizations.

“These grants are essential to sustaining a vibrant arts economy, anchoring cultural community assets and expanding our creative infrastructure throughout the county,” Dallas said.

At this university, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and the Art Gallery both received grants through the state council’s “Grants for Organizations” program.

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