SMALL FOLKS BIGGEST ‘WINNERS’ OF SMALL CULTURE FUNDS: Svalbard Turn gets more than recommended as others see cuts due to big COVID-19 hit to available annual Korkpenger funds

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(Editor’s note: Because Icepeople applied for a grant – and saw a huge reduction from amounts awarded in past years – the story below relies on quotes/explanations published today by Svalbardposten in order to maintain neutrality.)

During a year when most applicants for Korkpenger grants from the city got less than they asked for – and the city itself withdrew five of its applications so as not to “compete” – Svalbard Turn emerged as the one big winner as it received an extra 55,000 kroner in addition to the 500,000 recommended in a preliminary report for its variety of recreational programs.

“There we get the most for our money and it is completely in line with the guidelines to prioritize children and young people,” said John-Einar Lockert, a member of the committee that voted on grants Tuesday, told Svalbardposten.

Svalbard Turn applied for 800,000 in grants and the city administrator recommended it receive 500,000.

A total of 2.5 million kroner in grants was available from the fund that uses taxes from local retail alcohol sales, compared to the four million kroner awarded last year.

The city administrator’s office, which issued a preliminary report of recommended grant amount to the committee, removed five requests by the city – including 400,000 kroner for equipment at Kulturhuset – because “it is not desirable that the should be in competition with measures under the auspices of voluntary teams/associations/organizations.”

A total of 31 applicants received grants, with Svalbard Turn’s extra allocation coming at the end when the committee voted to award it all remaining funds.

This year’s grant winners and amounts:

Programs for children/young people (applicant in parentheses):

• Outdoor open-air warehouse: (city via Longyearbyen School): 70,000
• Cultural School Festival (city via Longyearbyen Cultural School): 30,000
• Cultural school performances (city via Longyearbyen Cultural School): 30,000
• Camp Svalbard’s autumn and winter camp (city): 180,000
• UKM participation in the regional competition (city): 80,000
• Social Youth Svalbard (local youth board) : 46,000
• Scout group (Svalbard church): 80,000
• Confirmation group (Svalbard Church): 32,000

Festivals and events (organizer in parentheses where applicable):

• Arctic Action Art: 20,000
• Arctic Chamber Music Festival: 40,000
• Literature Festival 2021 (LL Library): 80,000
• Dark Season Blues 2021 (Longyearbyen Blues Club): 175,000
• Polarjazz 2021: 175,000
• Smak Svalbard Food Festival 2021: 80,000
• Solfestrevy 2021 (Spitsbergen Revylag): 40,000

Clubs, teams and associations:

• Irish band in Longyearbyen (Seminar, start-up and operation): 5,000
• Longyearbyen Mixed Choir: 80,000
• Store Norske Men’s Choir: 60,000
• Tundradundrene: 80,000
• Longyearbyen Big Band: 100,000
• Longyearbyen Symphony Orchestra: 40,000
• Longyearbyen Film Club: 20,000
• Longyearbyen Dog Club: 40,000
• Longyearbyen air sports club: 25,000
• Longyearbyen Spillforening: 1,000
• Longyearbyen Red Cross Auxiliary Corps: 150,000
• Norwegian Rescue Dogs Svalbard: 70,000
• Svalbard Amateur Radio Club: 30,000
• Svalbard Turn (main team): 555,000
• Spitsbergen Makerspace: 66,000

Other:

• Mark Sabbatini (Icepeople): 20,000
(Full disclosure: applied for 75,000 kr., an amount awarded in past years until it was reduced to 50,000 kr. last year.)

Sum:

• 2.5 million kr.