Food and Drink

Three Riverhead cultural institutions win grants from county for supporting tourism

The East End Arts Council, Long Island Wine Council and Hallockville Farm Museum — all based in the town of Riverhead — are among 39 cultural organizations across the county that are to receive more than $36,000 in cultural funding grants, Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone announced Friday.

The funding comes from a county hotel tax charged for overnight stays. It is intended to support organizations that attract out-of-town visitors.

Suffolk County’s 2012 operating budget provides $263,660 from “Fund 192 – the Hotel/Motel Room Tax” for support of cultural programs and activities that enhance the tourism industry.

Mr. Bellone’s office said he had developed the measure, which the Suffolk County Legislature adopted on during April 24, on the recommendation of the Citizens Advisory Board for the Arts.

“We can all be proud that Suffolk boasts some of the finest cultural programs and organizations found anywhere in the country,” said Mr. Bellone. “From Huntington to the Hamptons, our museums, music venues, theater and dance companies and arts organizations attract visitors to our downtowns generating excitement, energy, economic activity and jobs.  These grants are an investment in our community that reaps tangible returns. You will never have to look far to enjoy world class culture in Suffolk.”

County Legislator Ed Romaine thanked Mr. Bellone, the Citizen’s Advisory Board for the Arts, and his board appointee, Pat Snyder, “for all their hard work in awarding these important grants.” He said the funding “is vital to our small cultural arts organizations, which are the backbone of tourism in Suffolk County. These great projects will spur tourism, stimulate economic activity on the East End, and help create sorely needed jobs in these tough times.”