Ashley for the Arts’ 2020 Community Cares Grant awarded $10,000 to the Independence School District for a series of murals.

Ashley for the Arts announced this week they are now accepting applications for the 2021 Ashley for the Arts Community Cares Grant. The focus of the grant is to support eligible nonprofit organizations within a 60-mile radius of Arcadia, looking for assistance with a project that is community focused in art, music and/or cultural activities.

“We’re thrilled to be able to return for a second year of offering our grant program as another way to make an impact in our surrounding communities,” stated Cole Bawek, event director. “Ashley for the Arts is focused on supporting educational, civic and nonprofit organizations that promote the arts, music, and broadening cultural horizons within our community.” 

The 2021 application and eligibility requirements can be found on Ashley for the Arts’ website at Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2021. 

The Ashley for the Arts Community Cares Grant was introduced following the cancellation of the 2020 festival due to the pandemic. The annual music and art festival in Arcadia, supports over 65 local nonprofit organizations, who take part in the event to raise funds for their programs. Without the opportunity to earn funds in 2020, Ashley for the Arts created the grant program to still provide a way for organization(s) to receive funds. 

The 2020 Community Cares Grant awarded $10,000 to the Independence School District for a community art project focused on beautifying the city of Independence. The project, which is still in the works, includes multiple, large-scale murals incorporating the history of the city and the region’s tradition of agriculture. Students, staff and community members worked together with artist and Independence alumnus Jimmy (Rombalski) Navarro to bring the project to life. 

“The Community Cares Grant has allowed us to make a lasting impact in our hometown. It was very exciting to see the students get so passionate about coming up with the ideas for the project, this is definitely something they will remember their entire lives,” stated Dawn Woychik, of the Independence School District. “We are grateful for the opportunity provided by Ashley for the Arts and highly recommend those considering a project to apply.”