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Friday, December 16, 2016

NOTES FROM THE SENATE, DECEMBER 16, 2016

GEORGIA: AN ACTIVE ARTS ENVIRONMENT

The Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) provides support to arts organizations throughout the state, and manages the application review and awarding of grants. Through this assistance, the GCA helps to ensure that the arts are nurtured and continue to have a home in Georgia.

GCA receives an annual appropriation of $716,630 in State General Funds. GCA has leveraged its state funds in FY 2017 by drawing down an additional $772,500 in federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

GEORGIA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS GRANTS

The GCA has four grants programs which support arts organizations throughout Georgia. All of its grants except for the Vibrant Communities Grant are funded with a mix of state funds and federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Partner Grant supports the operations of an arts organization. The maximum award amount for partner grants is $25,000. This grant requires from the recipient a dollar for dollar cash match.

Second, Project Grants provide support for actual arts projects as opposed to operations funding. These applicants must be either non-profits registered with the IRS, schools, government entities, libraries, colleges or universities. Among the various eligibility requirements are dollar for dollar cash matching and a public component in the programming. The maximum grant award for the project grant is $7,000.

Third, the Arts Education Program grant is the newest grant. Its purpose is to support programs and applicants that have a positive impact on Georgia K-12 students and schools with arts education programs that focus on integrating arts into other areas of study. Each Arts Education Program grant award ranges from $1,500 to $5,000. While an organization cannot submit both a Partner and Project Grants application, they can apply for an Arts Education Program Grant in conjunction with the other grant program, as long as the arts programming and budget aspects are separate.

So far in Fiscal Year 2017 the GCA has awarded $913,000 in grants funding. This includes 54 Partner Grants, 25 Project Grants, and 20 Arts Education Program Grants.

SENATE CREATES VIBRANT COMMUNITIES GRANT

There is one final grant program proposed by the Senate and established by the Georgia General Assembly as a way to ensure that communities throughout the state have access to arts funding. The Vibrant Communities grant was established in FY 2016 as a special project in the General Appropriations Act and is appropriated entirely with state general funds. The purpose of the grant program is to institute a statewide "Grassroots" arts program, with the goal to increase the arts participation and support throughout the state with grants no more than $5,000 each. Vibrant Communities grants are available only to organizations in counties in which no organization received one of the other three grants in the same fiscal year. In FY 2017 GCA has awarded 85 Vibrant Communities grants.

THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR

The Christmas season brings many people into theaters and performance halls all over the state to enjoy Christmas shows and concerts. Here in the Fourth District, the Averitt Center for the Arts presented "A Celtic Christmas," and the Candler County L.C. Anderson Memorial Library received a grant to host a Christmas Crafts Day for children six to twelve years old.

GEORGIA'S ARTS

It is perhaps fitting that this column should coincide with Georgia being named as one of the "Best of the World" destinations by National Geographic Traveler. It wasn't natural vistas or urban skylines which earned us this designation, but our music and culture. Not only are the arts an important tool in the state's economy, the arts are a part of everyday life for many communities in this great state and will continue to be well into the future.

List of FY 2017 Vibrant Communities Grant Awards
http://gaarts.org/images/PDFs/VC_FY17_Grantees.pdf

List of All Other FY 2017 GCA Grants
http://www.georgia.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Georgia-Council-for-the-Arts-grantee-list-2017-1.pdf

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