For about 29 years, the city of Santa Clarita has provided funds for community organizations and 2019 is no different. The City Council unanimously approved $180,000 to cover community service and art projects through the Community Services and Arts Grants programs, each of which receives $90,000. “It’s always extremely difficult to award those grants because of the number of applicants and the quality of applications we receive,” said Mayor Pro Tem Cameron Smyth, who serves on the grant committee for the program, alongside Councilman Bob Kellar. “It’s not easy, but I’m glad it’s not easy because of the quality of organizations that we are seeing continuing to grow.” The committee selected “Community Benefit” as the priority funding focus area for this year’s program, a funding limit of up to $5,000 per award and a funding limit up to $7,500 for the “Santa Clarita Presents” subcategory, according to a city agenda report. Under community services grants, the city received more than 30 applications, totaling fund requests of more than $150,000. A total of 19 local agencies will benefit from the $90,000 grant allocation. Among them include Bridge to Home for the purchase of a pre-owned vehicle for case management, Avenues Supported Living Services for a supplemental healthy food program and the Triumph Foundation for adaptive sports wheelchairs. The arts grants, with three subcategories, received 26 applications and 17 agencies will have their programs funded. The amount of funds requested for this area totaled more than $136,000. Recipients include the Canyon Theatre Guild for a Broadway musical, Homes 4 Families for a trauma-informed art program for military spouses and Million Little for a volunteer training program. As part of the selection process, the grant committee combined rankings and discussions to select the final recipients. To reach as many agencies as possible, funds requested per organization were lowered in both categories. According to the agenda report, grants varied from $1,000 to $7,500. For those that were not awarded this year, Smyth said city staff reaches out to agencies and provides feedback on why they weren’t provided funds to help them with future applications should they wish to re-apply.