By: Matt Milde
Since 2012, the City of Menlo Park has awarded five organizations $500-$1000 annually with grant funding toward subsidizing the rental cost of the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center (M-A PAC) through the Menlo Park Grant for the Arts
(MPGA). The program was designed to help subsidize the rental cost for organizations in an effort to support the Menlo Park artistic community. Since its inception, the MPGA has awarded roughly $25,000 across 16 local organizations. Moreover, there has been increased interest in the MPGA program by local organizations as well as increases in the staffing and equipment costs associated with the rental use of the theater. As result, the level of grant funding has been increased to award $500-$3000 to not more than 10 organizations, or exceeding $15,000, annually. The following organizations have been awarded grant funding through the MPGA for programs occurring between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018: Menlowe Ballet, Palo Alto Jazz Alliance, Western Ballet, Master Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra, ZiRu Dance, Magical Strings West, iSing Silicon Valley, Abhinaya Dance Company of SJC, Kepler's Literary Foundation and Circus Arts of Menlo Park. The expansion of the program will support local artists in affording the increasing costs associated with renting the M-A PAC and will allow the City to maintain a high level of quality programming for Menlo Park residents that has been fostered mostly due the success of the Menlo Park Grant for the Arts.