Rochester, NY -- The University of Rochester's Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This money is earmarked for the preservation of jobs threatened by the decline of philanthropic and other support during the current economic downturn. MAG¹s grant will be used to support essential positions directly related to its core missions of educational outreach and collections care and interpretation. Specifically, it will be used to help fund positions that support teacher training, new technology-related materials and other enhancements to Passport to the Past, a popular program designed to complement New York State's 6th-10th grade social studies curriculum. Currently, all 6th graders from the Rochester City School District, plus thousands of students from across the region, take advantage of this program, which explores ancient, medieval and Renaissance art. "We are delighted to be one of the recipients of this important stimulus grant as it enables us to support several staff positions and complete a major educational initiative," said gallery director Grant Holcomb. "We are indebted to the leadership and vision of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, who has long supported key arts initiatives that have enriched western New York." A tireless advocate for arts funding, Rep. Slaughter (D-NY-28) is Chairwoman of the House Committee on Rules and Co-Chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus. Most recently, she helped secure $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. "The arts are a tremendous stimulator of regional economies," said Rep. Slaughter. "In fact, the arts generate billions in economic activity and employ millions of Americans across the country. In western New York, art is a big part of our community and I am proud that the NEA has recognized these important groups that enrich our region." Each year, the arts industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity and provides 5.7 million full-time jobs. Every dollar of NEA grant money also leverages at least seven dollars from other state, local and private sources. Few other federal investments have such a widespread impact and magnifying effect across the entire nation. Also receiving a $50,000 stimulus grant was Rochester¹s Garth Fagan Dance, Inc.