Twenty Orange County arts organizations will receive $283,487 in annual operating grants from the California Arts Council, placing the county slightly ahead of last year, when 21 groups received $282,322.
Several groups will get less this year than last, including the Master Chorale of Orange County ($9,939, compared to $13,752), the St. Joseph Ballet ($9,946 compared to $12,416) and the Laguna Art Museum ($8,117 compared to $8,595).
But others will receive larger grants, including the Grove Shakespeare Festival ($9,276 compared to $6,876), the Irvine Fine Arts Center ($4,545 compared to $2,930) and the Orange County Symphony of Garden Grove ($3,387 compared to $1,291).
Council officials were unavailable to explain the differences in the grants. Generally, they are based on artistic and administrative strengths, as well as outreach and education efforts. A total of 700 groups statewide will receive $6.5 million.
Grants announced Friday also included $23,665 to the Orange County Philharmonic Society; $9,939 to the Pacific Chorale; $9,514 to the Laguna Playhouse; $4,730 to the South Coast Symphony; $4,545 to the Fullerton Civic Light Opera; $4,289 to the Orange County Black Actors Theatre; $2,670 to the Laguna Beach Chamber Music Society; $1,217 to Regional Dance America/Pacific Assn.; $1,000 to Pacific Writers Press and $1,000 to the Laguna Poets.
Grants to South Coast Repertory, Pacific Symphony, Opera Pacific and Newport Harbor Art Museum were announced Thursday.