Grant open for local art projects

Adriana Hernandez-Santana, Feature Junior Editor

The Doudna Fine Arts Center announced the Ruth and Vaughn Jaenike Grant Application is now open until Sept. 30.

Vaughn Jaenike, the former dean for the College of Fine Arts and Humanities, has opened up the opportunity for a grant for anyone in the East Central Illinois area who can bring different forms of art to the public. 

Other counties besides Coles County that are eligible for this grant are Douglas, Edgar, Clark, Cumberland, Effingham, Moultrie and Shelby. 

The funds are also limited to Eastern Illinois University, non-profit organizations and other school districts. 

Dennis Malak, the director of programming, publicity and promotion at Doudna, said that he is looking for a candidate who can really help add the arts to the community. 

“[We are looking to] target general audiences, especially audiences that recognize underserved in terms of the arts, have a strong educational component to introduce and explain the art formats presented in a pilot project,” Malak said. “A project that shows promise of encouraging follow up artists activities. For instance, the Paris Center is training people on how to do the arts right that would then send them out to encourage others to get involved in art activities and projects.”

With the deadline approaching on Sept. 30, everyone who is interested is welcome to apply. 

According to Malak, who understands that most grants can make individuals feel uneasy, he assures that this is one application that anyone can do. 

“Apply, sometimes people are weary of grant processes,” Malak said. “This is a pretty easy grant, it doesn’t take much. You could probably do it within a half hour.” 

The application also asks for projects that have significant support from the community. 

Thanks to this grant, different events have been able to take place over the past couple of years. 

“If you show us that you have strong community support for this project, like Art in the Park, they have a strong committee that comes out year after year, so that shows they have a strong, tangible support system,” Malak said.

Even though the application says that it would like to have some candidates who have a significant amount of support from the area, the committee is open to any candidate.

“We will take any application,” Malak said. “If there is somebody who has had an idea for an event that’s been batted around for a few years, and it’s never come into fruition because of how crazy the last few years have been, if they would like to fill out an application and request some support through the art fund, we would be happy to take a look at it.”

Overall, Malak expresses a great amount of gratitude towards the donors of the grant. 

“I think we can’t thank Ruth and Vaughn for having given so much to the arts here in the area,” Malak said. “This grant and award has helped so many community projects take place, and it’s a privilege to be able to serve on the committee that helps award these. I just can’t thank the Jaenike’s enough for her contribution to the arts program here.”


Adriana Hernandez-Santana can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].