ACTU receives Partner Grant from Georgia Council for the Arts

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The Georgia Council for the Arts recently awarded Arts for the Community at Thomas University (ACTU) a Partner Grant as part of its initial disbursement of grants for fiscal year 2021.

“This grant will enable ACTU to increase and diversify our audiences for the Friday at Noon and Sundays at Four concert series,” stated Dr. Karl Barton, ACTU series coordinator and Thomas University Professor of Music. “Our outreach will continue to expand with new venues. Our recent programs via live streaming and rebroadcasting on CNS will continue throughout the pandemic and into the future.”

Throughout the state, 148 organizations were collectively awarded more than $1 million in funding for operating support (Partner Grant), arts projects (Project Grant) or an Arts Education Program Grant. Additional grants in the Vibrant Communities and Cultural Facilities program areas will be awarded in the fall of 2020.

“This initial round of funding awarded by Georgia Council for the Arts serves to support the critical work arts organizations and artists are doing in communities to foster connectivity, rekindle joy, and support lifelong learning during these dynamic times,” said GCA Executive Director Karen Paty. “Knowing the challenges faced by our colleagues across the state due to the impact of COVID-19, it was particularly hard to not be able to fund all deserving applicants. The applications we reviewed provided evidence of continued exceptional arts programs in support of education, community development and economic development offered by arts organizations throughout the state. The staff and Board of GCA celebrate that work in all 159 counties, whether or not we are financially able to support it through these grant programs.” 

Part of the division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia Council for the Arts uses Peer Review Panels to judge and review applications following standard practices set by the National Endowment for the Arts. Panelists are GCA Council members and fellow professionals who are experienced in the arts discipline or type of grant being reviewed, or are citizens with a record of arts activities, experience and knowledge. Grant recipients include theaters, dance companies, museums, cities, colleges and multi-discipline arts entities. 

Funds awarded by Georgia Council for the Arts include appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. ACTU will also use its grant for outreach programs.

“Our continued growth is truly thanks to the Georgia Council for the Arts,” Barton continued. “We plan to expand youth educational outreach by having all Friday at Noon artists conduct clinics for area youth at the local, public high schools in the coming year.”

The ACTU Advisory Board includes M. Nicole Davis, Artistic Director and Conductor of Thomasville Singers since 2015; Chelsea White, former Coordinator of Community Engagement at TU and currently with Southeast Asset Advisors; Rick Ivey, Thomasville Entertainment Foundation Executive and Artistic Director; Mary Kathryn Sibley, Thomasville Entertainment Foundation Vice President of Hospitality, Production and Past President; Ann Larson, Thomasville Entertainment Foundation Vice President, Chair of Box Office and Former Chair of Education Committee, retired teacher; and JaMarcus Underwood, Jack Hadley Black History Museum Education Coordinator.

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