DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Senator Sherrod Brown joined arts leaders at the Dayton Arcade to celebrate millions of dollars in Shuttered Venue Operator Grants benefiting arts organizations across the Miami Valley.

“They [arts organizations] are essential to keep young people in the community. They’re essential so people can learn from the arts and perform and they’re essential for the economy,” Sen. Brown said.

“39 Dayton-region arts venues across our entire service area and arts organizations received over $18 million through the first round of the SVOG with the largest grant to the downtown theater Dayton Live, formally know as the Victoria Theater Association, at nearly $10 million from both rounds of funding,” said Lisa Hanson, the executive director of Culture Works Dayton.

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, which includes the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Philharmonic, received the second-largest grant of $1,163,809.

Neal Gittleman, the artistic director and conductor for the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, said “We lost so much in ticket revenue, which is a big problem for everyone in the performing arts industry. The SVOG is what helped us get through that and know that we would be okay on the other side.”

He said the grant was financially and mentally important for the artists and their audience.

“Knowing if we just did the paperwork and waited that it would come allowed us to have the courage to keep on going last season,” he said.

For more information on the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, click here.