Published 8:47 pm Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Alabama State Council on the Arts awarded 145 grants totaling $517,145 at its December council meeting in Montgomery. This round of grants will support arts in education, folk art, community, literature, performing and visual arts programs Oct. 1, 2008-Sept. 30, 2009.

Three Pike County non-profit organizations, the Brundidge Historical Society, the Troy Arts Council and the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center, Inc., received funding in the round.

The Brundidge Historical Society received $4,800 for the 2009 Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival, which is held annually the last weekend in January.

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“We are very grateful to be awarded a grant of this size for our storytelling festival,” said Lawrence Bowden, BHS president. “Our festivals have been very successful and we hope to see the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival continue to grow. We believe that it is important to preserve the art of storytelling and the awarding of this grant is an indication that the state arts council is in agreement.

“It is rather expensive to bring in such high level of storytellers for our festival. The grant makes it possible for us to bring the best storytellers in the country to Pike County. So, we are very appreciative of the support of the state arts council’s support.”

The Troy Arts Council received two grants, a $2,400 grant for the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra and $3,000 for The Kandinsky Trio.

Elaine Blair, Troy Arts Council patrons’ chair, said the TAC is very appreciative of the grants that it has received from the state arts council.

“We’ve had a wonderful patrons’ year but it takes a lot more money than that to bring to Troy the quality of entertainment that the TAC offers,” she said. “Without the support of the state arts council, we couldn’t do all that we do. It takes the support of the state arts council, the city and county, patrons, grants and corporate sponsorship to offer our calendar of events.”

Blain said the decision to bring the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra was based on the success of the Glenn Miller Orchestra performance last year.

“The Glenn Miller Orchestra was such a great hit,” she said. “People enjoyed the music and got into the swing of things so we thought we would try that again. The Kandinsky Trio is pretty well known and everybody knows Andy Irwin. He will be a big draw because people will want to see him in a different format.”

The Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center also received two grants. The center was awarded $3,500 for a photographic exhibition and $6,000 for a visual arts teacher workshop.

“We are thrilled to receive the grants and very appreciative of them,” said Wiley White, Center development director. “The Bill Wright photographic exhibit will be a celebration of the human spirit and will come to us through Humanities Texas. Bill Wright is a fabulous photographer and his exhibit will be a rather emotional one in that it deals with human spirit.”

The grant for the teacher workshop offers the Center the opportunity to reach out to the community and to its children through the teachers who participate.

“Last summer, the art workshop was for teaches in grades 3, 4 and 5,” White said. “This year, we will invited teachers in grades 6, 7 and 8 to participate and the school systems ill pay them a stipend. This workshop is an effort to get arts into the curriculum in the elementary and middle schools.”

White said the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center is a grassroots’ effort and the state arts council’s grant funding helps keep the Center doors open.