The Janesville Performing Arts Center’s executive director called a $47,221 state grant to ease COVID-19 losses a “lifeline.”
But now that the lifeline has been thrown, the community needs to help its cultural organizations get into the lifeboat, Nathan Burkhart said.
JPAC was one of eight Rock County cultural organizations to receive state grants to help cover revenue losses that accrued during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a news release from Gov. Tony Evers’ office.
The state gave $15 million to 385 cultural organizations.
“Just like small businesses, cultural organizations have taken a major financial hit,” Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan said in the release. “We’re all in this together. We hope that these funds will make it possible for us to be able to enjoy the museums, theaters, and music from these organizations once it is safe to do so again.”
The grant can be used to cover costs associated with the pandemic, such as buying masks and hand sanitizer, and the revenue losses it caused, Burkhart said.
JPAC has earned about 5% of the revenue this quarter that it did in the same quarter last year, Burkhart said.
The grant will make up for some of that loss and allow the performing arts center to keep providing what people desperately need now: entertainment and stress relief, Burkhart said.
JPAC has been offering new kinds of programs, some virtual and some in person, to give residents an escape from daily stressors. Those programs don’t necessarily make a lot of money, but they keep JPAC relevant in the community, Burkhart said.
The $47,221 grant will be used to recoup revenue losses, he said. That will help JPAC keep its doors open and plan for the near future until the pandemic is over.
Burkhart estimates it will be at least another year before the center can operate at full capacity.
He stressed that while the grant is critical, JPAC and other organizations still need public support.
“The grant will help us continue, but we do need additional support as we navigate,” Burkhart said.
He said JPAC will survive because of the strong community support it has experienced already.