Artists and arts organizations awarded grants

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Relief program formed in partnership with the Meisenberg Family Trust and the Alliance for the Arts

The Alliance for the Arts, a nonprofit visual and performing arts center in Fort Myers, announced the recipients of The Arts are Vital Grant.

The Arts are Vital Grant is an emergency relief program for Lee County’s arts organizations and individual artists formed in partnership with the Meisenberg Family Trust to ensure the sustained impact of the arts during a time when we need them most.

The program provides one-time grant awards of $5,000 to arts organizations and $500 to professional artists located in Lee County with urgent financial need due to COVID-19. These funds are unrestricted and may be used by the organizations and artists to help with financial issues due to the impact of COVID-19 on their organizations, lives and livelihoods.

Individual artist grantees include: Kara Ackley, Cesar Aguilera, Jan Ellen Atkielski, Marliss Brockington, Renee Rey, EllaEllis, Lily Hatchett, Monique Olsen, Brendan Powers, Rachel Powers, David Rode, Caitlin Rosolen, Terry Lynn Spry, Timothy Torres, Gregory Van Kirk, Warren Van Kirk and Jeffery Whidby.

Arts organization grantees include: ArtFest Fort Myers, BIG ARTS, Cultural Park Theater Company, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Florida Repertory Theatre, Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers, Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra, Gulfshore Ballet, Laboratory Theater of Florida, Lee County Black History Society, Players Circle Theatre and the Southwest Florida Symphony.

This grant is made possible by a generous gift from the Meisenberg Family Trust and was facilitated by Jeremy and Paul Meisenberg, in memory of their mom and former Alliance Board Member and cultural supporter, Deborah Meisenberg. 

“We are honored to partner with the Meisenberg Family Trust, to help sustain the work of artists and cultural organizations in these uncertain times,” says Alliance for the Arts executive director Lydia Black. “Our cultural sector is struggling to survive the massive financial and job losses caused by COVID-19. We understand how urgent the crisis is and how essential the arts are to our economy, our recovery and to our everyday lives.”

For more information, visit or call 239-939-2787.


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