Cultural summit on tap in Waterford with grant funding as topic

Waterford - The region's first cultural summit will address the issue of grants when it convenes from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at Charter Oak Federal Credit Union.

The free program, sponsored by the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition, will feature a panel discussion about regional grants, covering such areas as applications, trends in the arts-and-culture sector and the pros and cons of partial vs. full funding.

"With an increasing number of nonprofits in our region and a fluctuating amount of funds available from donors, grants are becoming more and more competitive," said Wendy Bury, executive director of the local cultural coalition. "Funders seek greater collaboration from multiple partners in grant applications to maximize the impact of their giving."

The panelists will be Jennifer O'Brien, program director of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut; Shaun Formica, public relations coordinator at Charter Oak; Kathryn Lord, trustee and director of the Edward and Mary Lord Foundation; Harry Colonis, assistant vice president of Chelsea Groton Bank; and Nancy Bulkeley, senior community affairs representative for Dominion.

The local coalition is a new organization that is empowered to connect the cultural community to help foster economic growth for the region and state. It is holding a series of cultural summits and conversations to help bring creative people with similar missions and projects together, whether they are in the for-profit or nonprofit sectors.

"The cultural summits bring together leaders and experts for informative panel discussions, presentations and educational forums," Bury said. "We are planning future summits on the topics of tourism, economic development ... and media and the arts."

Anyone from the public may attend Tuesday's summit, but advance registration is required. To register, visit

Information on the cultural coalition, which is tied to the state Department of Economic and Community Development's Office of the Arts, is available at

Twitter: @KingstonLeeHow


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