by Dorrie Bates

The Greenbelt Community Foundation (GCF) announces that three local organizations have been awarded grants in its latest funding cycle.  The Greenbelt Archive Project, the Friends of the New Deal Café Arts and the Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival have all received grants ranging from $1,500 to $5000 in support of projects which contribute in some way to the community at large.

The new Greenbelt Archive Projects received $5,000 from the foundation.

Dawn Washington ( far left) presents the Greenbelt Archive Project founders with a ceremonial $5,000 check at a recent board meeting. ( From left to right: Mary Sies, Joellen Sarff, Sandy Lange, Deanna Dawson, and Cathie Meetre.)

The Greenbelt Archive Project will use its $5,000 to ­­continue its efforts to digitize 60 years of the paper.  There are currently an estimated 25,000 pages of Greenbelt history generated between 1943 and 2002 that are in danger of destruction.  These archives need to be scanned, reviewed for quality and digitally managed in order to preserve these weekly stories of Greenbelt history. . Papers published prior to 1943 were digitized previously and are available on Chronicling America.

The Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival, a CHEARS program, will receive $2,350 to expand the 30th Annual Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival to two additional locations in Greenbelt. The original Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival was centered in Old Greenbelt, with pumpkin carving in Roosevelt Center and a walk to explore the Greenbelt Forest Preserve, but this often limited the reach of the festival. Because organizers want to include more of the community in 2018, pumpkin carving activities and a woods walk will be held in both Schrom Hills Park and Greenbelt West.  These two new locations will expand the festival for those unable to get to Greenbelt center and “… guarantee that every Greenbelt resident can enjoy and understand the importance of the woods that make up Greenbelt.”

Greenbelt Community Foundation awarded the Friends of the New Deal Café Arts (FONDCA) $1,530 to support its efforts to highlight new artists and exhibit their work in the cafe. Local artists are introduced to the public through FONDCA’s program with new shows every two months. This grant will fund advertising to attract artists to submit their work, publicity to promote the work, and materials for receptions hosted in their honor.

The Greenbelt Community Foundation’s mission is to support worthwhile initiatives by local organizations benefiting the Greenbelt community.  GCF has two grant cycles a year; grant awards range from $500 to $5,000 and are given to Greenbelt community groups, cooperatives and non-profit organizations.