BETHEL — The Mahoosuc Arts Council of Bethel was recently awarded a $9,000 Maine Arts Recovery Grant from the Maine Arts Commission made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The grants were presented in partnership with the Maine Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, said Aranka Matolcsy, council executive director. The grants are awarded to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations that have suffered critical staffing cuts or can provide proof that an important existing position is in jeopardy — or in the case of the Mahoosuc Arts Council — have compelling reasons why the retention of a creative worker is vital to the organization.

“The need for arts education is one of the most vital, hot button topics of our time as rampant budget cuts ravage arts departments in schools across the state and across the nation. Organizations like the Mahoosuc Arts Council, which provide supplemental arts educational opportunities, were at one time considered to serve in roles adjunct to the educational programming offered in the core curriculum. No longer. The MAC has become a critical component to the curriculum offered by SAD 44 and Gould Academy. The Maine Arts Recovery Grant award proves that,” said Matolcsy.

The grant was awarded to sustain operations costs of the nonprofit organization, which has been supporting and advancing the arts and humanities in the school systems and adults communities of the Greater Bethel Area since 1986. The council’s proposal was chosen as one of 19 to receive an award among 33 applications.

The award ensures the continuation of the executive director position. The council can now focus the majority of its efforts to raising the funds necessary to build a variety of programs, including musical, dance and theatrical performances, fine arts and artisan exhibits and artist-in-residence programs featuring international, regional and local artists.

Supported in part by Gould Academy, SAD 44, corporate sponsors and private donors, as well as a variety of program grants, the council works to make all of its programming accessible at little or no cost to each of the 1,165 SAD 44 and Gould Academy students, the 295 members of staff and faculty and the more than 4,000 residents in the region.

For more information, visit or call 824-3575.

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