WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)—It’s been nearly three years since the COVID pandemic swept across the world, taking lives and shutting down businesses and nonprofits worldwide. Even in 2023, those nonprofits affected by the pandemic are still playing catch up when it comes to funding. That’s where the American Rescue Plan Act comes into play, and at this week’s city council meeting, some much-needed help was dished out to 29 local area nonprofits. For these local area nonprofits every dollar matters, seeing that they run on grants and donations, and with 1.5 million dollars passed out to these nonprofits, it means they can continue their mission of serving the Wichita Falls community.
Over the years the art scene in Wichita Falls has been growing at a rapid pace, that is until COVID-19 came along causing the Kemp Center for the Arts and The Forum to shut down which means no more fundraising, putting a halt on arts education.
“We love to provide free art lessons, art opportunities, field trips to the art buildings we work with local artists to give them opportunities to have a platform to get to the next level in their business of being an artist,” Shiplet said.
Development and Marketing Director for the Arts Council of Wichita Falls, Kristen Shiplet said they received 60-thousand dollars in COVID relief funds, which she said will go a long way in helping with much-needed upgrades.
“The Kemp Center and The Forum, those buildings need to speak to each other because we have offices in each so it’s also going to improve our distance learning education programming with the technology needed to provide those free interactive art lessons through Region 9,” Shiplet said.
And just across the street at the Wichita Falls Faith Mission, CEO Steve Sparks said the 100-thousand dollars in ARPA funds they received is going to help tremendously with transportation upgrades.
“Faith Enterprise is driving some of those trucks that are more than ten years old, our box trucks that we do all of our pick-ups and deliveries in are worn out and ready to be replaced, and then we got a couple of vans that we transport our clients to appointments and church and court and that kind of thing too that are just not road worthy,” Sparks said.
Although these funds are going to help keep both the Arts Council and Faith Missions doors open, both Shiplet and Sparks say they could always use the community’s help.
“We are always accepting donations for our general funding for our opportunities and volunteers as well we have a lot of different opportunities for volunteers whether it’s through events or through our buildings,” Shiplet said.
“We still need the community’s support through prayer, financial, or in-kind donations, right now we’re doing really well when it comes to winter gear,” Sparks said.
And even the smallest donation helps these nonprofits selflessly give back to our community.
If you would like to donate or volunteer for either of these nonprofits, click here for Wichita Falls Faith Mission.
Click here for the Arts Council of Wichita Falls.