In 2021, a $15,000 grant from Berks County Community Foundation to Our Town Foundation supported local arts in Hamburg. With a mission of revitalizing, promoting, and preserving the downtown historic district of Hamburg, Our Town Foundation wanted to reignite arts and culture in the community after the pandemic. The grant paid for performers and art teachers and marketing expenses. Activities included:
- 33 film and movie screenings
- 4 live performances at a local theatre
- Art classes
- Reception with local artists at the Art & Craft Gallery of Hamburg
- A talent show entitled “Hamburg’s Got Talent” where 13 people performed
- The performances of 22 bands and musicians at the annual Taste of Hamburger Festival
Some of these activities were brought back to the community for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Town Foundation suffered financial loss during the pandemic due to the temporary closing of the Strand Theatre and the Art & Crafts Gallery.
The community was very receptive to these planned events and opportunities. Many people took advantage of the art classes in the area. The movie screenings were popular among children and their families, especially movies related to holidays. The Polar Express movie screening around Christmastime sold out completely! With these movie screenings, Our Town Foundation entertained families and children while simultaneously supporting its mission by promoting and using a historical landmark in the town.
Funding for these projects came from our 2021 Special Programs: Berks County Arts & Culture Ramp Up. The goal of this one-time program was to provide grants that would support Berks County’s nonprofit arts and culture organizations as they ramped back up during the fourth quarter of 2021 or 2022. The grant to Our Town Foundation was one of fourteen that was awarded through the program.