Festival association awards $31K in community grants

The Coupeville Festival Association awarded more than $31,000 in community grants Monday night to 10 community organizations.

Several of the grants this year went toward projects aimed at building or renovating infrastructure for some organizations.

The Island County Historical Museum received a grant to help fund a major renovation.

“The main exhibit hasn’t changed in the last several years,” said Rick Castellano, museum director.

This is primarily due to the museum’s current display cases, he said. The museum has been working with the Central Whidbey Lions Club to design new cases that can stand alone or link together and be sealed together to protect artifacts from humidity and dust, Castellano said.

“This is a really big project that will start at the first of the year,” he said.

The museum will be closed weekdays in February as the project progresses.

The Pacific Northwest Art School also received funds to purchase infrastructure to support classroom instruction and Pacific Rim Institute received a grant to create and install educational signs and displays.

Art school director Lisa Bernhardt said the grant will go toward purchasing items such as tables and a portable demonstration mirror.

Other grant awards will go to aid in beautification projects in and around Coupeville.

The Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association and Coupeville Chamber of Commerce each received grants for hanging baskets and decorations. The Coupeville Garden Club was awarded a grant to renovate Captain Coupe’s Garden with new plants and irrigation system.

The association awarded grants to help fund cultural and art activities in town, which will include the hiring of two professional presenters for children’s programs to the Coupeville Library; a Memorial Parade and program;three free Saratoga Orchestra concerts; and youth activities during the Penn Cove Water Festival.

Money for these community grants was generated from the 2016 Coupeville Art and Crafts Festival. Association president Mike Dessert said the festival generates money in two main ways: vendor application fees and the 15 percent commission from festival sales.

In 2016, the festival collected $25,000 in fees and $47,000 in commission, which reflects roughly $313,000 in sales generated in by vendors during the festival.

The association will also be awarding $8,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors in the spring and money is also donated through various community partnerships during the festival. In 2016, the association will donate $47,000 back into the community, Dessert said.

Grant requests are evaluated on how well they meet the association’s goals to promote quality handcrafts and the arts; ensure the cultural enrichment of residents in the 98239 zip code; and beautify and preserve the unique historical qualities of Coupeville.