Forsyth County Commissioners voted Thursday to allocate federal COVID relief funding for several community initiatives. That includes a big chunk for the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

Forsyth County has been awarded over $74 million through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Some of the biggest allocations they approved this week include more than $2.1 million for the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office to add new positions, focusing on addressing youth gun and gang-related violence.

Forsyth County Commissioners also approved $1.5 million in funds for the Cure Violence program.

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County will get a big boost. Commissioners will allocate $4.5 million from the ARPA pot. The money will be used to create new programs, increase diversity and inclusion in the community, and provide workforce development.

Chase Law, President and CEO of the Arts Council, says the infusion of resources will help break down barriers and bridge gaps in the community.

“This isn't just about the fun and entertainment of the arts. It's about making our community, our county, a better place for everyone," says Law. "It's about working with all aspects, subsets, neighborhoods, people and working for change, real change."

Officials say another round of applications for federal COVID relief funding is planned.

*Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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