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Band competition awarded $10K grant from NEA

BUCKHANNON — The international marching band championship coming to Buckhannon has garnered financial support from the federal government.

The National Endowment of the Arts has approved a $10,000 grant to the World Association of Marching Show Bands 2023 Buckhannon Host Committee to support the success of the 2023 World Championship in Buckhannon.

The WAMSB 2023 World Championship is one of 1,125 projects across the United States selected during the second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year funding, totaling to more than $26.6 million.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts and cultural organizations throughout the nation with these grants, including the WAMSB 2023 World Championship,” NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, said.

“The arts contribute to our individual well-being, the well-being of our communities, and to our local economies. The arts are also crucial to helping us make sense of our circumstances from different perspectives as we emerge from the pandemic and plan for a shared new normal informed by our examined experience.”

The WAMSB 2023 World Championship will take place in Buckhannon in July 2023. This is only the second time in 26 years it will take place in the U.S. and the first time being hosted on the East Coast, putting the region and state in an international spotlight.

To date, 47 bands from 24 nations have submitted applications to participate. Visitors to the weeklong event will be staying in the region’s hotels and motels and will have the opportunity to visit shops, restaurants and take part in different recreation opportunities across the state, according to WAMSB 2023 Buckhannon Host Committee President Randy Sanders.

“We are beyond excited that the National Endowment of the Arts approved our grant application for funding. Every dollar gained is another dollar that will help the city of Buckhannon put on an unforgettable international event. We can’t thank the agency enough,” Sanders said.

The $10,000 grant is among the latest in contributions toward the event. To date, contributions have been received from the City of Buckhannon in the amount of $100,000, the Randolph County Commission for $7,500, Harrison County Commission for $4,000 and Community Bank for $550.

This one-time event provides an opportunity to develop and leverage long-term tourism and economic development relationships with international entities, dignitaries, and other attendees from around the world.

WAMSB is an international organization dedicated to the fostering and growth of the international marching band community. WAMSB is comprised of members from 32 nations from around the globe, representing 24 band associations, their bands and visitors.

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