OI Receives Funding for Rural Arts Collaborative From Benedum Foundation

Oglebay Institute Receives Benedum Grant


The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation recently approved a grant for $186,000 to Oglebay Institute in Wheeling, WV.  The grant will fund the Rural Arts Collaborative project, which boosts school art programs in five Northern West Virginia counties. Those counties include: Ohio, Wetzel, Marshall, Brooke and Hancock.

Oglebay Institute will serve as the convener and fiduciary manager of the grant and identified seven schools within the aforementioned counties. The first year of the project begins at Wheeling Country Day School in Ohio County and Magnolia High School in Wetzel County. The EQT Foundation provided at $10,000 matching grant to implement this project in Wetzel County.

Through the Rural Arts Collaborative (RAC),  local Teaching Artists in rural counties are identified and placed in school classrooms.  The program enhances and creates a more robust arts education curriculum.  Since 2013, the RAC has served more than 2,600 students in Washington, Fayette and Greene counties in Southwestern PA. It has successfully impacted cognitive and social development as well academic performance.

OI Is a Catalyst for Change in WV Arts Community

Oglebay Institute president Danielle Cross McCracken said the organization is deeply grateful to the Benedum Foundation for positioning OI to be a catalyst for change in the arts community in rural West Virginia.

“Through their generosity, we will be able to impact the arts in education in these West Virginia schools. I have seen first-hand the immediate and lasting impression that arts integration has made in both the classroom and community. I could not be more thrilled with this opportunity on both a personal and profession level. The children of these counties deserve this experience, and our team will work hard to make this a reality.  The Board and I thank the Benedum Foundation immensely for believing in our ability to be a conduit for this great project.”

Jim Denova, Vice President of the Benedum Foundation said, “This project is at the heart of what Benedum is pleased to fund – those things that impact the arts in education for children. Ultimately as we know through research and statistics, participation in arts education programs improves cognitive development and learning skills across the board for those who are exposed.  We are excited to see Oglebay Institute become the regional voice in Northern West Virginia schools for this initiative which has been so successful in Southwestern PA schools.”

The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation is dedicated to encouraging human development in West Virginia and Southwestern PA through strategically placed charitable resources.  Over the years, the Foundation has authorized grants of over $410,000,000.