- Associated Press - Saturday, December 20, 2014

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Eight Connecticut schools are the first to receive grant funding under a new state program designed to strengthen arts instruction by encouraging partnership between schools, artists and arts organizations.

The eight were chosen from 82 schools and school districts that applied for a total of $250,000 made available through the Arts in Education grant program. The maximum award was $50,000. Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor said demand for the grants was high.

Schools in Bridgeport, Colchester, Coventry, Farmington, Manchester, Middlefield, Newtown and Waterbury have been awarded funds ranging from $2,759 to $50,000.

The Classical Studies Magnet Academy in Bridgeport, for example, received a $49,952 grant. The money will be used to employ artists for residencies, performances and workshops at the K-8 school.

The grant program is overseen by several state agencies.

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