Virginia Governor Ralph Northam this week recommended 13 projects, one of which is for $25,000 for the Montgomery Museum of Art and History, for funding by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
The 13 grants total $1.4 million. Virginia’s Appalachian region encompasses 25 counties and eight independent cities. ARC will finalize approval of these project awards later this year.
The Montgomery Museum project will expand the Montgomery Museum of Art and History’s ability to provide more exhibit, event, and research space as well as create new digital and technological infrastructure and improve care of the collections. The expansion will enhance community engagement, accessibility, diversity, and sustainability of museum programming, supporting the community and economic development efforts of Southwest Virginia.
“The Appalachian Regional Commission is a key funding tool for addressing the unique challenges facing our Appalachian region,” said the governor. “Investing in Appalachia is more important now than ever before as we work to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that no area of the Commonwealth is left behind in our recovery.
“These 13 projects align with our ongoing efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of all those in our Appalachian communities by creating new economic opportunities, building critical infrastructure, preparing a skilled workforce, and supporting community development.”
Established in 1965, the ARC is a federal agency focused on economic development throughout the Appalachian region. In February, Governor Northam was elected by Appalachia’s 13 governors to serve as ARC’s states’ co-chair for 2021. ARC grants are aimed at supporting the goal of building a strong and sustainable asset-based economy by funding projects that serve as catalysts for bringing jobs and prosperity to Appalachian communities while preserving their character.
“ARC funding gives Appalachian communities the flexibility needed to provide targeted assistance in community-identified areas, from improved water systems and community centers to addiction recovery facilities and museums,” said Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “These proposed projects will provide wide-ranging opportunities and further the vital work being done to diversify and strengthen the economy and communities of the region.”