A few months into the pandemic, Peterborough resident Deborah Berrill saw the increasingly devastating impact it was having on the local arts sector. Venues were shuttered, musicians could no longer earn a living by performing, and artists could no longer exhibit and sell their works.
An educator and ardent supporter of the arts, Berrill knew she had to help but wasn’t sure how. She contacted Su Ditta, executive director of the Electric City Culture Council (EC3), offered to made a donation along with her husband, and suggested she could to reach out to other local arts supporters to raise even more funds.
More than a year later, Berrill’s initial contact with Ditta — which led to the creation of the Peterborough Arts Alive Fund — has resulted in 15 local arts organizations receiving more than $100,000 in grants to help them recover from the pandemic.
“Peterborough and the surrounding area are so special because we have all of these incredible artists here,” Berrill told kawarthaNOW this past May when applications opened for the fund. “It’s what makes Peterborough such an incredibly special place to live.”
The Peterborough Arts Alive Fund was established by EC3 last year in partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough which, as a charitable organization, administered the funds raised by Berrill as well as by the Peterborough Performing Arts Recovery Alliance — a group of 13 arts organizations and live performance venues in Peterborough and the surrounding region founded in August 2020.
Last November, the City of Peterborough also made a substantial contribution of $40,000 to the fund, matching the $40,000 in private donations already raised by that point.
By the time it began accepting applications, the Peterborough Arts Alive Fund had over $100,000 available to support local arts organizations.
“Our work on the Peterborough Arts Alive Fund was inspiring beyond measure,” Ditta says. “We are very grateful to everyone who made this program possible and for the tenacity and creativity of the entire Peterborough arts community.”
On Tuesday (July 27), EC3 announced the 15 local arts organizations that have collectively received $104,500 in grants between $2,500 and $10,000 from the Peterborough Arts Alive Fund. The full list of recipients, the grant amounts, and how they will be used is provided below.
4th Line Theatre ($10,000)
- “Bloom: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fable” cast recording
- Barnyard Sessions: four live songwriters circle events
Kawartha Youth Orchestra ($6,000)
- Health and safety barriers for woodwind instruments
- Health and safety training for staff and volunteers
- Management and coaching training for staff and board
- Collaborative projects with other arts organizations, including professional instrumental teaching
Market Hall Performing Arts Centre ($10,000)
- Video series showcasing local artists (and the facility)
- Upgrading the facility’s network infrastructure
P.R. Community and Student Association (Sadleir House) ($2,500)
- Upgrades to live streaming equipment
Peterborough Artist Inc. – Artspace ($6,800)
- Consultation on board training and development
- Management training program for new co-directors
Peterborough County Children’s Chorus ($4,500)
- Marketing and promotion, improving virtual presence by hiring videographer and photographer to create visuals
- Rent for temporary larger rehearsal space
Peterborough Symphony Orchestra ($7,500)
- Consultancy for restructuring as smaller professional orchestra
- Implementation of consultant’s recommendations
Peterborough Theatre Guild ($4,500)
- Purchasing PPE and cleaning supplies
- Costs related to upcoming production: production costs, building materials, marketing campaign, hiring choreographer/acting coach and director/special effects advisor
ReFrame Film Festival ($10,000)
- “PTBO Portraits”, a series of three short documentary profiles of local artists and activists by local filmmakers
- Hiring Health and Safety Officer for the 2022 festival
- Anti-oppression training for staff and board
Showplace Peterborough Performance Centre ($10,000)
- Preparation for relaunch, including a deep cleaning of facility, rehiring employees, adding signage and protective barriers, purchasing PPE and sanitizer
SPARK Photo Festival ($5,500)
- Reinstating stipend for Festival Director
- Digitizing catalogue and guide
- Print materials and signage
The Art School of Peterborough ($6,900)
- Creation of strategic plan
- Website upgrades, including an online shop for the Launch Gallery
The Peterborough Singers ($4,300)
- Choral commission of new works to be performed at first show back
- Equipment for recording, photographing shows
The Theatre on King ($10,000)
- Development of two productions (“Kitten with a Crucifix” and “Titty Cakes (Saint Agatha’s Breasts)”, including livestreaming costs and social media integration
Trent Radio ($6,000)
- Implementing COVID safety/hygiene protocols at the facility
- Mentorship program working with and providing recording equipment for six local emerging musicians