The GEF Arts Endowment exists to provide a permanent source of funding to support and promote initiatives in the arts.

Our goal is to fund opportunities within our community that expose multiple generations to exemplary works of art. Proposals with a broad reach in the community will be given special consideration.

Grants may be used for artistic initiatives such as:

  • Theatrical, dance and music performances, readings, workshops, classes, or hands-on artistic activities
  • Seed money to help launch creative new programs
  • Artistic materials and equipment which support quality programming

The GEF makes up to $10,000 available per year in support of the arts.

For more information about our Grants Program, click here to view our brochure.

Grant Guidelines:

The GEF funds programs that:

  • Illustrate innovation and creativity,
  • Enrich educational offerings; and
  • Offer unique learning opportunities.

In addition, grant proposals should:

  • Have a clearly defined action plan,
  • Provide appropriate evaluation criteria; and
  • Demonstrate breadth of impact.

Grants are not intended to replace or relieve the existing responsibility for public funding of school programs, nor are they intended to replace regular budget growth and maintenance. Grants do not cover field trips OR salaries, stipends, or professional development costs for non-profit employees and volunteers.

Grants are made to nonprofit organizations. If you have an idea for an innovative program but are not affiliated with a nonprofit organization, please contact the GEF for assistance in finding an appropriate partner. Some examples of past partners for grants are our public schools, town departments such as Granby Youth Services and the Granby Senior Center, and nonprofit organizations such as Holcomb Farm, Granby Artists Association, and the Salmon Brook Historical Society.

All proposals are reviewed by a committee of the GEF's board of directors and voted on by the board. Awards are based on the merits of each proposal and the ability of the GEF to fund them. Partial funding may be awarded.

If your organization has been awarded a grant, please view our press packet which has guidelines for crediting the GEF as grant sponsor as well as our logo for use in your publicity.

Successful Arts Endowment Grants:

Singer/Songwriter Dave Gunning Visit:  With a $5,000 Arts Endowment grant, the GEF funded a visit by Dave Gunning, an award-winning singer/songwriter/storyteller from Nova Scotia. His high energy, interactive performances were a hit with the students at Kelly Lane and Wells Road Schools. He also led a songwriting workshop with students from GMMS and GMHS. (Submitted by Bill Ross, Granby resident, with coordination from Granby Public Schools.)

Blues and Beyond: Black History Through Music:  During Black History Month, all students at GMHS were treated to a musical revue concert by The Blues and Beyond (TBB). Funded with a $4,010 Arts Endowment grant, the concert helped students develop a better understanding and connection to Black history and culture by tracing the roots of modern music. TBB musicians told the history of America from the 1600s to present day, spotlighting ancient West African roots music, Gullah and Geechee culture, the Underground Railroad, and the Harlem Renaissance. After the concert, students from the GMHS Black and Latino class and the Students of Color Alliance took a deeper dive into a specific era in Black history with the musicians. (Submitted by Jacky Patton, Rodney Scudder, and Amanda Ligas, teachers, Granby Memorial High School)

Shakespeare Interactive Workshops:
 All 8th grade students participated in an in-class Shakespeare workshop presented by Shakesperience. The workshop builds students' mastery of comprehension and vocabulary by having them directly interact with the text. Two actors presented five 45-minute sessions with substantial ties to language arts, social studies, and theatre learning standards. A study guide with pre and post show activities accompanied the program. (Submitted by Lisa Everett, teacher, Granby Memorial Middle School)

Matt Ryan: Author and Illustrator: A grant of $800, funded a visit from a graphic novelist. Matt Ryan's work inspired students in their own endeavors as he offered concrete, real-world guidance as a published author. At the end of the school year, Wells Road School will combine the student’s own graphic pages into their own Wells Road graphic novel. (Submitted by Kristy Lankford, Art teacher, Wells Road Intermediate School)

Inclusivity Mural at Kelly Lane Schoo
l: A $1,250 grant helped to fund a painted mural in the second-grade hallway of the school. The artwork focuses on diverse children playing together. Omar Rowe, Kelly Lane’s own custodian, designed and painted the mural. (Submitted by Lis Diemer, Kelly Lane School)

Granby Celebrates Juneteenth!: Granby Racial Reconciliation received an Arts Endowment grant of $10,000 which funded live performances at the Granby Celebrates Juneteenth event on June 18, 2022 at Salmon Brook Park. Performers included Soul Sound Revue performing hits in the Motown tradition, Rhythms in Color dance troupe, and educational speakers and testimonies. The GEF was proud to be a sponsor of the arts at this significant event. (Submitted by Cathy Watso, Granby Racial Reconciliation)


Multicultural Art Interest and Enrichment Center: A multicultural art interest center and enrichment cluster was created at GMMS using a $750 grant. Students now have access to a variety of sources to further explore multicultural art including print sources, film, magazines, photographs, hands-on artifacts, and art materials to develop, create, and design pieces of their own multicultural art. The center combines historical research around ethnicity, with cultural understandings and awareness to produce a product for students to share with a larger audience. (Submitted by: Shirley Cowles, enrichment teacher, GMMS and Grace Matthews, English teacher, GMMS)

15 Week Racial Equity Challenge - Conversations: A grant of $750 was given to the Granby Racial Reconciliation Challenge Task Team to promote conversations among Challenge participants. Activities to promote conversations were communal gardening and a poetry writing workshop. A garden plot was secured in the Granby Community Garden and was dubbed ‘The Garden of Equity’. The work of tending the garden promoted conversations between Challenge participants and with fellow community gardeners. Vegetables were harvested and shared with Waste Not Want Not Community Kitchen.  A poetry writing workshop with Malik Champlain was held in July.  Twelve people came together via Zoom for an intimate session, during which each participant was invited to explore their racialized identity. The workshop balanced time for individual thought, reflection, and writing with opportunities to share experiences and feelings with the group.  (Submitted by: Catherine Watso, GRR member)

Poetry Out Loud Guest Teaching Artists: To supplement the participation of GMHS in Poetry Out Loud, an annual poetry recitation program, the school received a grant of $650 for a poetry workshop with two teaching artists. Artists Tarishi Midnight Shuler and Abioseh Joseph Cole worked with groups of students to practice all the skills needed for an effective recitation: physical presence, voice and articulation, dramatic inter­pretation, evidence of understanding, and overall performance. This program gave approximately 250 students an opportunity to work directly with the poets and hear them perform their original works, giving them a chance to learn more about modern poetry. (Application submitted by: Lauren Shafer, English Teacher, Granby Memorial High School)

Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series: The GEF was proud to continue to support the Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series with a $2,850 grant for the 2019-20 season. This grant helps to fulfill our mission to bring quality arts program­ming to Granby residents by helping to fund four concerts in memory of Bruce Porter, a former music director at South Congregational Church. The 2019-2020 concert series began with a perfor­mance of poetry and jazz with saxophonist Nat Reeves and poet Kate Rushin. The second perfor­mance was a holiday concert performed by The New England Ringers, a 15-member community handbell ensemble. Next was Family Night at the Movies with a live, improvised performance by organist extraordinaire, Jason Roberts. Mr. Roberts played the organ while the audience watched the classic 1923 Harold Lloyd silent film, “Safety Last.” And finally South Church was very lucky to wrap up their concert series before the pandemic lockdown with an encore performance by the choral ensemble CitySingers of Hartford performing their popular Celtic Fire! program. (Application submitted by: Laura Mazza-Dixon, Organizer and Co-Artistic Director)


Family Art Day: The GEF awarded $400 to the Granby Artist As­sociation to bring a free, creative, and educational art day for the children and families of Granby that included spin-art, card making, watercolor painting, paper flower creation, drawing, and weaving. (Application submitted by: Wendy van Welie, Granby Artists Association)

Dave Gunning concerts:  Award-winning musician, Dave Gunning, performed and taught at the Granby Public Schools on April 26, 2019 supported by a $3,000 grant from GEF. Concerts were held at Granby Memorial Middle School, Kelly Lane School, and Wells Road School. Dave then taught a songwriting workshop at Granby Memorial High School. On April 27, 2019 Dave performed for the community at The Salmon Brook Music Series at South Church, Granby, CT. As with all SBMS concerts; local high school musicians performed the opening act. Over a career now spanning 20 years and 10 albums, folk-based singer/songwriter Dave Gunning has earned multiple Canadian Folk Music and East Coast Music Awards. (Application submitted by Bill Ross,  The Salmon Brook Music Series)

Flamenco Dance Performance: The GEF awarded $2,200 to Granby Memorial High School for a school-wide assembly featuring the Melinda Marquez Flamenco Dance Center. Flamenco songs played on authentic instruments accompanied the dances, giving the students an opportunity learn more about Spanish culture.(Application submitted by: Laura Iappichino, World Language Teacher, Granby Memorial High School)

Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series: The GEF was proud to continue supporting the Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series with a $2,000 grant for their 2018-2019 season. The concert series presented four events: a performance by saxophonist Tony Gibbs and pianist Benita Rose; a silent movie family night with musical accompa­niment on the organ by Jason Roberts; a perfor­mance by the Hartt School of Music Chorale and the Hartt Chamber Choir the under the direction of Ed Bolkovac; and a concert featuring Les Amies de Theodore: A Baroque Ensemble, with narra­tion by guest lecturer Walter Mayo. (Application submitted by: Laura Mazza-Dixon, Organizer and Co-Artistic Director)

Supersonic Harmonica: The Granby Public Library was granted $310 to present Supersonic Harmonica, an hour-long interactive and educational program led by musician and music educator Steve Clark. The program included a talk about the history of the harmonica, a performance, and an introductory lesson for beginning harmonica players of all ages. (Application submitted by: Holly Johnson, Granby Library Public Program and Outreach Coordinator)

Irish Dance Workshop: With a grant of $1,600, Granby Memorial High School brought the Griffith Celtic Dance Company to school for a day of Irish step dancing workshops and performances during World Language Week in March. All of the GMHS students in the World Language Department (460 students) had the op­portunity to learn about a new culture and explore its musical heritage through Irish step dancing lessons. Nine young dancers (ages 6 to 18), dressed in traditional costumes gave eight consecutive, 40-minute workshops, during which the danc­ers performed examples of the most common and popular dances. Mary Beth Griffith, the owner and head teacher of the dance company, narrated the performances with explanations of the steps and the place these dances have in Irish culture. Next the dancers invited the high school students on stage to teach them several steps. (Application submitted by: Kate Guyett, World Language teacher, GMHS)

Theater Lighting: Good Company Theater received a grant of $2,000 to upgrade stage lighting at their performance space to help them create a more permanent and versatile space for their twice-yearly productions. (Application submitted by: Dennis P. Moon, Good Company Theater)

African Drumming Program: The World Languages Department at Granby Memorial High School was awarded $2,430 for a day of workshops with the New Haven School of African Drum and Dance during World Language Week. Students learned about the history of African drumming and its importance as a communication tool. Students also had the opportunity to play one of the authentic drums. (Application submitted by: Karen Richmond-Godard, World Language Department, GMHS)

Percussion Program: Valley Pre-School received a grant of $500 to bring perennial favorite Ben Toth, Sr. and his hands-on percussion workshop to the preschool. Toth, the chair of the Percussion Department at the Hartt School showcased a variety of instruments spanning cultures and sounds and then let the students create their own music and rhythms. His program engaged the students by introducing a variety of musical genres and teaching about their history and cultural significance. (Application submitted by: Bill Hallam, Valley Pre-School)

Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series: The Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series received $1,900 in support of their 2017-2018 season. The concerts, established in 2012, are free and open to the public and named in dedication of Bruce Porter, the former Music Director at South Congregational Church. The series began in October with a performance by poet Kate Rushin and internationally acclaimed jazz bassist, Nat Reeves and his State of Emergency Quartet. The New England Ringers handbell ensemble will perform a Christmas program in December; a silent movie family night with musical accompaniment by Jason Roberts is scheduled for January; and the series will finish with an April performance of baroque orchestral music performed by the Hartt Collegium Musicum, a Baroque ensemble lead by Emlyn Ngai and Kenneth Nott. (Application submitted by: Laura Mazza-Dixon, Organizer and Co-Artistic Director of the Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series)

Incognito: A grant of $440 was awarded to GMHS for the performance of the play Incognito based on the true story of performer Michael Fosberg’s upbringing as a white, working-class Chicagoan and his discovery of his biracial parentage. The program includes workshops dealing with racial identity and race relations.
(Application submitted by: Rodney Scudder, GMHS History Teacher)

MakerSpace Lab: A grant of $1,000 in seed money was awarded to GMHS for the establishment of a Contemporary Crafts MakerSpace Lab which provides students with the tools to design and create products. The lab will support several areas of curriculum including: Practical and Fine Arts, Business and Marketing, and Senior Capstone Projects, as well as extracurricular clubs. (Application submitted by: Hollie Hecht, GMHS Art Teacher and Casey LaPlante, GMHS Media Center Specialist)

Bruce Porter Memorial Music Series: $1,500 was awarded in support of this series which introduces a variety of musical genres and ensembles to the greater Granby community through quality performances which are free to the public. This year’s schedule includes baroque music, opera, a silent film with live organ accompaniment, and a performance by the 2016 Connecticut Young Artists Piano Competition award winners. (Application submitted by: Laura Mazza-Dixon, Organizer and Co-Artistic Director)


Spring 2015

Hands-On Art Fun Day:

The GEF continues to support this annual event which allows community members of all ages to try their hand at various art forms with the guidance of area artists who share their talent, techniques, and expertise. A grant of $800 was awarded to cover supply costs so that this event may remain free to the community. (Application submitted by: Robin Sidwell, Granby Artists Association)

Winter 2015

Chemistry in Art/Art in Chemistry:

A grant of $1,335 was awarded to GMHS for the continuation of this program which integrates the two seemingly different disciplines of science and art in an authentic and real-world way. Students will study the chemistry behind the Raku ceramic process and then employ their creativity to create their own pieces. (Application submitted by: Baokhanh Paton – GMHS Science Teacher, and Hollie Hecht – GMHS Art Teacher)


Spring 2015

Kelly Lane and Wells Road Schools were awarded $1,100 to bring the well-known Mariachi group Fiesta del Norte to perform for them in support of their Spanish language curriculum. “Fiesta del Norte dresses in traditional “charro” outfits and plays a wide repertoire highlighting the varied styles of music from several areas of Mexico. They use authentic instruments behind their beautiful bilingual singing, and weave song translations, storytelling and cultural insights between songs.” (Application submitted by: Laura Iapichino – GMHS Spanish Teacher, and Mark Neri – GMMS & GMHS Band Teacher)

Fall 2015

"Fiesta del Norte" Assembly:

This program was extended to GMMS and GMHS after its success in the spring at the Kelly Lane and Wells Road Schools. An additional $1,100 was awarded to bring the well-known Mariachi group Fiesta del Norte to perform for students in support of their Spanish language curriculum. “Fiesta del Norte dresses in traditional “charro” outfits and plays a wide repertoire highlighting the varied styles of music from several areas of Mexico. They use authentic instruments behind their beautiful bilingual singing, and weave song translations, storytelling and cultural insights between songs.” (Application submitted by: Laura Iapichino – GMHS Spanish Teacher, and Mark Neri – GMMS & GMHS Band Teacher)

Mid-Stage Curtain:

GMHS was awarded $5,456 for the purchase and installation of a mid-stage curtain on the stage of the auditorium. The curtain will increase the versatility of the space for use by the students and community, allowing for contiguous space usage and providing the tools necessary to enhance the curriculums of the drama and music programs. (Application submitted by: Nikki Currie-Huggard – GMHS Drama Teacher, Karen Kudish – GMHS English Teacher, and Emily Cote – GMHS Student)

Percussion Concert:

Valley Pre-School was awarded $400 to sponsor a percussion program which allows children to have a direct and hands-on experience with a variety of cultures through music and a diversity of instruments. (Application submitted by: Maureen Williams – Valley Pre-School Board Member)

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May 2013

GMHS Science Teacher, Baokhanh Paton (in partnership with Art Teacher, Hollie Hecht) was awarded $1,305 for the Chemistry in Art/Art in Chemistry initiative. Students will be given the opportunity to integrate the two seemingly different disciplines of science and art in an authentic and real-world way.

The Granby Artists Association has been granted $600 to sponsor their Hands on Art Fun Day 2013. This free event gives community members of all ages an opportunity to view demonstrations and work with local artists in a variety of mediums.

$1,600 was awarded to Sandra Yost (Program Coordinator, Town of Granby Senior Center) as seed money for the Stuck on Music program which encompasses and spectrum of curriculum including; voice, instrumental, history, theory, and performance.

March 2013

Karen Richmond-Godard, French teacher at Granby Memorial High School, was awarded $1600 to implement a series of workshops and performances of West African drumming and dance by the Kouffin Kaneke Company during World Language Week at GMHS. The week culminated in a day of workshops and performances from the Kouffin Kanecke West African Dance Troupe. Students were given some back-ground about founder Aly Tatchol Camara’s homeland, Guinea, as well as the tradition behind West African drumming and dance. After a brief performance, students were invited to come on stage and try drumming and dance themselves. The countries of Western Africa have a rich cultural heritage and for many at GMHS, the Kouffin Kanecke West Afri-can Dance and Drum Group provided their first experience with these cultures and may have sparked a passion they never knew existed.

March 2012

The Granby Artists Association was awarded $695 to fund supplies and materials for their Family Fun Day at Holcomb Farm. This event allows local artists to demonstrate their talent and technique and then offer guidance for participants of all ages to try their hand at weaving, jewelry making, watercolor, oil painting, photography, caricatures, wood working, and art expressions.

March 2012

Mindy Shilansky was awarded $800 for a series of workshops and master classes open to GMHS and GMMS students which allow for educational experiences outside the scope of the Music Department’s curriculum.

February 2011

Susan Reed Family Concert: Valley Pre-School of Granby presented a family concert with award-winning children’s recording artist Susan Reed. Susan's songs, stories, and orchestral music draws the audience into the rich world of classical music, connecting audience to ensemble and strengthening your musical community. Susan spins unforgettable stories that grow right from her banjo, guitar, mountain dulcimer and violin strings. Her versatile instrumental “voice” presents a uniquely effective way of inspiring young people to pick up an instrument, write a story, sing a song and live a life filled with art. For more information on the artist, visit To read more about the concert visit TheGranbysPatch for this article.

November 2010

Thula Sizwe, a 10-member group from South Africa, entertained a packed house in Granby with songs and dances celebrating village life, and painted moving pictures of life in South Africa. Read more.

November 2010

Good Company Theater: Seed money was granted to the newly established community theater in Granby for the purchase of a sound system. The Good Company Theater is "an intergenerational organization designed to create and produce confident and quality theater for the enrichment, education, and entertainment of our community."

GEF Celebrates $200,000 Goal by Granting One‐Time Special Grant - Granby Memorial High School Auditorium Wireless Microphone System.