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CWU Instructor Helps Distribute Nearly $11 Million to Nonprofits Statewide


Hundreds of community nonprofits in Washington now have a brighter outlook on the future after receiving nearly $11 million in Nonprofit Community Recovery grant funding this month.

Central Washington University English instructor Xavier Cavazos served on the 12-member ArtsFund committee that helped distribute a combined $10,780,000 in federal relief funds to 702 arts nonprofits, veterans organizations, neighborhood associations, sports and recreation clubs, and other community groups across the state. 

In about six weeks’ time, the committee, in partnership with the Washington Chamber of Commerce, had allocated at least the minimum amount requested — between $2,500 and $25,000 — to nonprofits in 34 counties, including Kittitas.

“The thing that made it special for me was that we were able to fund the Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame and the Clymer Foundation,” Cavazos said. “Both organizations are instrumental to the Western heritage and culture we have here in Ellensburg, and I am very proud that we were able to help them.”

The hall of fame was awarded $7,500, while the Clymer Foundation, named after renowned local artist John Ford Clymer, received $22,500.

Cavazos also pointed to other Central Washington nonprofits, such as the Kittitas Environmental Education Network (KEEN) in Ellensburg and The Capitol Theatre in Yakima, that will benefit from the committee’s effort to keep arts and culture alive in our communities. 

He and the other members believe strongly in maintaining those traditions.

English instructor Xavier Cavazos“It’s paramount to our nation’s cultural identity that arts nonprofits, veterans nonprofits, and sports nonprofits — the things that make communities whole — can keep the doors open and the lights on,” Cavazos said. “We were able to help out a lot of people, especially in rural counties, and that speaks to all the great people at ArtsFund who came together to get the money where it needed to be.”

ArtsFund’s goal is to support the arts through “leadership, advocacy, and grant making in order to build a healthy, equitable, and creative Washington.” The 50-year-old community nonprofit works to ensure that the arts are accessible to all and remain valued in society.

Cavazos noted that the Nonprofit Community Recovery funding will provide a much-needed boost for arts communities from Spokane to Seattle. At the same time, the relief may be only temporary as arts nonprofits and entertainment venues around the state brace for more challenges ahead.

“What was striking to me was that so many of these organizations are in such desperate need,” he said. “This money is like a shot in the arm for them, but we’re not out of it yet.”

Media contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs, david.leder@cwu.edu or 509-963-1518.