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Smithtown arts and historical groups get $150G

The Smithtown Town Board has allocated $165,000 to local arts and historical organizations.

The board voted 5-0 to give $50,000 each to the Smithtown Historical Society and Smithtown Township Arts Council, and provide $65,000 to the Smithtown Performing Arts Council.

Kiernan Lannon, executive director of the historical society, said the funding will go toward the costs of administering activities, such as school programs based around the life of a colonial farmer and a spring farm festival at the Franklin Arthur Farmhouse.

The money also will help with caring for sheep, chickens and a pony at the Rockwell Barn and maintaining archives and collections at the Caleb Smith II House, he said.

Allison Cruz, executive director of the arts council, said the funding primarily allows the nonprofit to operate an art gallery and host exhibits at its site, known as Mills Pond House in St. James.

"The house is always free and open to the public," Cruz said. "Without this money, there would be no way that we'd be able to do that."

The funding also helps keep youth and adult art classes at affordable rates "so people in town can get exposed to art," Cruz said.

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