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Nearly $5 Million Awarded to 15 Tourism Nonprofits


City of Lincoln and Lancaster County officials announced on Thursday their allocation of $4.9 million in grant awards to 15 local nonprofit tourist organizations impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The funding was made available to the City and County by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.

“We recognize that nonprofit tourism organizations add value to the local economy and provide our residents and visitors with shared experiences and cherished memories that make Lincoln an even stronger community and more attractive destination,” said Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird. “This funding will enable these organizations to recover some of their pandemic losses and be in a stronger position to hire staff and stage the shows, festivals, exhibits, sporting events, and educational programs that make our community a vibrant one for residents and visitors alike.”

A committee of City and County officials reviewed 21 applications and chose the following nonprofits:

•    Camp Creek Antique Machinery and Threshing Association, Inc. – $25,000
•    Flatwater Shakespeare Company – $91,000
•    Friends of Woods Tennis, Inc. – $100,000
•    History Nebraska/History Nebraska Foundation – $875,000
•    Lancaster County Agricultural Society, Inc. – $650,000
•    Lied Center for Performing Arts (UNL Board of Regents) – $300,000
•    Lincoln Arts Council – $130,000   
•    Lincoln Calling – $125,000
•    Lincoln Children’s Museum – $705,000
•    Lincoln Children’s Zoo – $900,000
•    Lincoln Sports Foundation – $220,000
•    LUX Center for the Arts – $200,000
•    Midwest Racers Organization, Inc. – $45,000
•    Museum of American Speed – $450,000
•    Nebraska Repertory Theatre (UNL Board of Regents) – $150,000

“The Lancaster County Board, in partnership with the City of Lincoln, is excited to award $4.9 million of ARPA funds to nonprofits and public entities operating first-class tourist destinations within Lincoln and Lancaster County”, said Deb Schorr, Chair of the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners.  “We are confident these dollars will enhance the vitality of our community by encouraging even more visitors to enjoy our County’s many attractions, facilities, and entertainment venues.”
 
“My sincere thanks to the leadership at our City and County who recognize the value of tourism and have made the effort to extend these dollars to our industry,” said Jeff Maul, Executive Director of the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau.  “At the peak of the pandemic and without conference business at hotels and vacation travel, shutdowns and furloughs were common, and many of our hospitality and tourism partners have struggled to return their operations to pre-pandemic levels. These dollars represent a gesture of appreciation for those in our industry as we continue to build the tourism economy in Lincoln and Lancaster County.”

More information on the investment of ARP funds in the community is available at lincoln.ne.gov/ARP.