In the comments at the bottom of my post about ARTFARM's pre-show concerts during "Shakespeare in the Grove", several people were wise to point out that the music is underwritten by the Middletown Commission on the Arts.
With egg on both my face and keyboard, I must mention that I am the publicity chair for the MCA and should have included that in the article as well as the sponsorship for the entertainment for the Fireworks Festival on July 2.
At a special meeting of the MCA several weeks ago, the commissioners unanimously approved funding projects and organizations that the city has supported in the past. The money had been removed from the Mayor's 09-10 budget but returned by the Common Council. (To the current administration's credit, the proceeds from this year's Mayor's Ball was earmarked for the MCA.) Money was granted to ARTFARM for this month's production (much needed because the funds promised by the State of CT may never show up), to North End Arts Rising and to the Neighborhood Troupes programs of Oddfellows Playhouse.
The last program cited has proven very successful in helping children from low income families get involved with theater, being part of the greater community, and taking care of their school work. The Playhouse reaches out to as many children as is humanly possible and the support is crucial.
Everyone who serves on the MCA are aware that we are stewards of the taxpayers money and we take that into account whenever artists and organizations apply for funding. Middletown is known for being an "arts-friendly" community and the Commission as well as its coordinator Stephan Allison strive to keep it that way.