A number of Essex County organizations received grant money last week that will play a major part in funding programs throughout 2008. Thanks to the Arts Council for the Northern Adirondacks, 13 Cultural Assistance Program grants were handed out to nonprofit organizations rooted in the fine arts. The grants are funded by Essex County, the New York State Council on the Arts and through outside contributions. "The organizations that receive the CAP grants are chosen by a panel," said Athena Roth, grants/outreach coordinator for the Arts Council. "These panel members are local members of the community who are invested in the Arts and Cultural community. They look at the artistic merit and quality of the project, community benefit generate by the project, demonstrated need for funding, geographic distribution of programs, evidence of sound fiscal management and responsibility and cooperation with past grant regulations." After being chosen by the panel, organizations are notified and are required to sign a Letter of Agreement. "The agreement states that the organization will use the funding received for the intended purpose upon applying," added Roth. "It also states that they will send in a final report by the following January with a summary of the following years program." Furthermore, Roth noted that a representative of the Arts Council will audit each organization to verify that it is using the funding as intended. Several organizations are receiving funds for their General Operating Funds,a sign that the program has solidified itself in the eyes of the Arts Council. "GOS funding usually is an acknowledgment that the organization has come of age," explained Roth. "It recognizes the importance of the organization's cultural mission and its service to the community. GOS is a significant gesture of trust in an organizations ability to use such funding wisely so that it will safeguard the organizations artistic vision and the specific programs through which the vision is reflected." The following local organizations were among the 13 groups that received grants: The East Branch Friends of the Arts, located in Keene Valley, received a re-grant to support their 2008 Bits and Pieces program. The Depot Theatre, in Westport, received a re-grant that will be applied to its General Operating Fund for the remainder of 2008. The Essex County Historical Society, based in Elizabethtown, also received a re-grant aiding its General Operating Fund. Adirondack Art Association, Watercolor and Photography Summer Workshops Songs at Mirror Lake, Sound for the Band Le Vent Du Nord The Lake Placid Institute for Arts and Humanities, Words from the Woods Adirondack Young Peoples Poetry Contest Loon Lake Live, Family Fun Childrens Concert Lake Placid Sinfonietta, Inc., Community Concerts Ticonderoga Festival Guild, Childrens Art Trek Adirondack Architectural Heritage, GOS multi-year Lake Placid Center for the Arts, GOS multi-year Historic Saranac Lake, GOS multi-year All organizations are eligible to re-apply for additional funding in 2009. For more information about 2008 CAP grants or to learn more about the Arts Council for the Northern Adirondacks, call 962-8778.