Three more Berkshire County arts and entertainment organizations have reaped the rewards of federal pandemic relief assistance.
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced on Tuesday that Shakespeare & Company in Lenox has been granted $722,937 and Phoenix Theatres Pittsfield, LLC, operator of the Beacon Cinema, is getting $617,054.
Berkshire organizations based or doing business in the county have now snagged $20.9 million out of $215 million awarded statewide.
“The money will be put to good use,” said Allyn Burrows, artistic director of Shakespeare & Company. He pointed out that the funds are allocated to the troupe’s current annual budget, a decision made “in hopeful anticipation” of winning a grant.
The Roomful of Teeth Vocal Arts Project won a talent rep award of $219,362. The vocal ensemble founded in Williamstown by Brad Wells in 2009 and still based there has performed annually at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams. Wells is Director of choral/vocal activities and artist-in-residence at Williams College.
The ensemble’s mission is to “mine the expressive potential of the human voice,” with performances such as Tuvan throat singing, yodeling, belting, Inuit throat singing, Korean and Hindustani music to Persian classical singing.
The project’s debut album, released in 2012, was nominated in three Grammy categories, winning for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance.
Among other major awards previously announced: $10 million for the Boston Symphony, $2.6 million for Mass MoCA, $1.5 million for Jacob’s Pillow Dance in Becket; $1.35 million for the Williamstown Theatre Festival, $923,000 for the Berkshire Theatre Group’s stages in Pittsfield and Stockbridge, and $610,000 for Barrington Stage in Pittsfield.
Organizations awarded $400,000 down to $43,000 include The Mount (home of the Edith Wharton Restoration in Lenox), the Triplex Cinema and the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, both in Great Barrington, the Images Cinema in Williamstown and the Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF).
So far, the SBA has awarded more than $7.5 billion in Shuttered Venue Operator Grants to about 10,000 live entertainment venues, small businesses, and not-for-profits, the agency announced Tuesday. That’s about half of the total funding available through the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act passed by Congress in March, preceded by the $900 billion Economic Aid Act approved last December.
The $16.25 billion Shuttered Venues program provides eligible applicants with grants equal to 45 percent of their gross earned revenue in 2019, capped at $10 million.
In Massachusetts, only the BSO, for its Boston and Tanglewood operations, and the New England Aquarium have netted the top award.
Nearly 15,500 applications, seeking a total of $12 billion in funding, have been submitted by live venue operators, promoters, arts organizations, talent representatives, motion picture theater operators, museums and theatrical producers, according to SBA tallies.
The SBA has posted decisions on 95 percent of the applications it has received, with 732 still under review and 105 yet to begin review as of this past Monday. More than 2,700 applications have been declined. Nearly two-thirds of the awards have gone to applicants with fewer than 10 employees.
The program was designed to assist in getting the nation’s cultural institutions, “which are critical to the economy and were among the first to shutter, back on track,” the SBA announcement stated. The agency worked closely with the White House and other partners to speed up reviews of applications following several technical glitches in early April.
Applicants who received less than they anticipated can request reconsideration and those with declined applications can appeal the decision. The notifications for the appeal and award amount reconsideration opportunities are expected to begin Aug. 2 and Aug. 4 respectively for two weeks.
The portal for applicants remains open and funding is still available for all those eligible. Additional information: SBA Office of Disaster Assistance’s Customer Service Center, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for technical assistance, 1-800-659-2955. Applicants can find a local resource partner via a zip code search at www.sba.gov/local-assistance.