This week, State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex) welcomed the news that, in recent months, the 33rd Senate District has received $156,360 in total grant funding through the Department of Economic and Community Development's CT Arts Endowment Fund, Supporting Arts Grant and General Operating Support for Theaters and Performing Groups. Across Clinton, Colchester, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex and Old Saybrook, 10 different groups received funding ranging in value from thousands to more than $100,000 across the three programs.

"Our local arts organizations are a vital vein running through our communities," said Sen. Needleman. "They allow fantasies and stories to come to life, entertain us with beautiful music and performances and support creativity and inspiration for our youngest residents. I'm grateful to the Department of Economic and Community Development for its continued investment in local arts."

The General Operating Support for Theaters and Performing Groups funds provide general operating support grants to Connecticut-based theaters and performing groups whose primary purpose is to present the performing arts to the general public. The CT Arts Endowment Fund (CAEF) was established by the Connecticut General Assembly to stimulate the development of private sector funding and to ensure the long-term stability of Connecticut’s arts industry by providing funding to organizations. The Fund is managed by the Office of the State Treasurer and the program is administered by the Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA). Supporting Arts grants provide aid to theaters and performing groups with a primary purpose of presenting performing arts to the general public.

Organizations receiving funds included: Clinton: Opera Theater Of Connecticut - $6,537; Colchester Colchester Choir and Orchestra - $2,598, Colchester Community Theatre - $3,355, Sustain Music & Nature - $3,613; East Haddam: I-Park Foundation - $13,520; East Hampton: Epoch Arts Inc - $6,651; Essex: Cappella Cantorum Inc. - $4,104, Essex Winter Series - $3,382; Old Saybrook: Drama Works Theatre Company, Inc. - $3,085, Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, Inc - $105,403.