Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) today announced $125,000 in federal grants to support arts and culture in Southwest Connecticut. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded the grants through their Grants for Arts Projects and Challenge America programs. These programs fund education, engagement and access to art.

“Southwest Connecticut is home to a vibrant arts scene that enriches our communities and strengthens our local economy,” said Congressman Himes. “This federal funding will expand access to music, dance and theater, bring artistic projects to life, and further cultivate our state’s strong creative tradition.”

“This is the first time in recent history that Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts with competitive grant funding,” said Beth Ulman, Executive Director of Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras Inc. “We are grateful to the NEA for recognizing the value of GCTYO to young musicians and their families in Connecticut and for helping us support our quest for accessibility, equity, and belonging for all our students, regardless of background or circumstance.”

“We are thrilled that the National Endowment for the Arts is giving us the opportunity to first connect Connecticut students with disabilities with their peers in Kenya in an exchange of art and live videoconferencing – and then display the art in schools throughout the state on cARTie’s Museum Bus. Disabilities are not inabilities – and this program will fully bear this out for all participants and viewers,” said Alan Steckler, Creative Connections Founder and President.

“I am grateful for the continued advocacy from Congressman Himes for projects that support arts and culture in Stamford, which contribute greatly to the vibrancy of our community,” said Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons.

The nine Fairfield County grant recipients include the following:

  1. ACT of Connecticut Inc (Ridgefield) -- $10,000 to support a series of theater performances for underserved audiences.
  2. Creative Connections (Norwalk) -- $10,000 to support an international art exchange and mobile tour of artwork created by Deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
  3. Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras Inc. (Fairfield) -- $10,000 to support youth orchestra activities for underserved students.
  4. INTEMPO Organization, Inc. (Stamford) -- $10,000 to support a multidisciplinary concert and a series of dance workshops.
  5. Mill River Collaborative (Stamford) -- $10,000 to support an outdoor interactive dance performance.
  6. Thrown Stone Theatre Company (Ridgefield) -- $10,000 to support a theater production by the Thrown Stone Theatre Company.
  7. City of Stamford -- $25,000 to support the installation of a mural at the Stamford Transportation Center in Stamford, Connecticut.
  8. Games for Change (Fairfield) -- $20,000 to support the Games for Change Festival and the XR for Change Summit.
  9. Stamford Symphony Orchestra, Inc. -- $20,000 to support an artist residency by the Dali Quartet.

For more information, contact Charlotte Hoffman at


Congressman Jim Himes represents Connecticut’s 4th District, which includes the communities of Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield,  Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, Norwalk, Oxford, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Stamford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport and Wilton.