Funding To Help Arts Programs And Senior Citizens Announced By Frederick County Executive

Jan Gardner

Several arts projects will be funded across the county.

Frederick, Md. (NS) – Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner has announced new grants using American Rescue Plan Act money to create arts projects across the county.

One grant, worth $200,000, will support Frederick Arts Council members who were negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A 2nd grant will go to support a mural project which includes a summer jobs training element for young artists. The mural project will commission artists to create 15 different mural projects along the Golden Mile and possibly in some other locations throughout Frederick County with priority given to underserved areas that currently lack significant public art,” said Gardner.

Artists will receive stipends to create the murals.

The third grant goes towards the installation of seven art projects around the county. Gardner said these pieces will drive tourism.

“Seven artists or teams of artists will be commissioned to design light-based artwork installations at key locations throughout the county such as our main street districts in our smaller towns or the East Street corridor around the Golden Mile,” Gardner explained.

Artists will be paid $10,000 – $13,00010 each for their projects.

Gardner added that priority will be given to Frederick County based artists.

Closed Captions

A new program will help Frederick County residents who don’t speak English interact with local government.

“I’m pleased to announce that Frederick County will now be offering real-time translation of our public meetings and town hall discussions in over 100 different languages,” announced Gardner.

She said this feature can be used on the website

Users can select a language using a translate button on the screen, and captions will be generated in that language in real time.

“Translation services are also available on the hub for someone who wants to provide written comments to a board or a commission,” Gardner added.

Comments would be shown to county staff translated into English and their answer will be shown back to the user in their requested language.

Gardner said this will help more residents engage with county government.

Property Tax Help For Seniors

Gardner also announced a pilot-program to make sure seniors in Frederick County pay their yearly property taxes.

If a homeowner forgets to pay property taxes, their monthly expenses could go up, and they may ultimately lose their home.

She said the program, “3rd Party Notifications,” will help remind seniors to pay their yearly property tax.

“Third Party Notifications is a safeguard for these home owners. The voluntary program allows people who are 65 or older, or who have a physical or developmental disability, to designate another adult to receive a copy of the home owner’s property tax bill,” explained Gardner.

That third party individual could then remind the senior homeowner to pay the tax bill.

“Now, the 3rd party is in no way responsible for paying the tax bill. Their role is simply to check with the home owner that they know they have received their notice and that they pay their taxes in a timely manner,” said Gardner.

Gardner said this issue especially affects seniors who are experiencing memory loss.

I Believe In Me

A local organization that helps underserved children and families in Frederick County will receive some financial help.

“I Believe In Me” will get funds from two grants which are paid using American Rescue Plan Act money.

“Now, I Believe’s primary mission is to mentor at risk youth between the ages of 6 and 16. The program has grown so much over the last few years that the organization needs a third 15-passenger van to transport youth to programming and events. Frederick County will be providing $60,000 in one-time funds to I Believe In Me so they can purchase a van,” said Gardner.

Another grant goes towards a future project.

“The organization also has plans to create an activity center in downtown Frederick. Once this location is acquired, a 2nd grant totaling $20,000 will be awarded to help fit out the space with library books, games and other activities to support the youth mentoring program.

She said all of these grants will help make life better for the people of Frederick County.