Local arts agencies get ASCA funding

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Alabama State Council on the Arts awarded grants to two local arts organizations and Troy University at its September meeting in Valley.

The Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center received $6,000 for its “Moving Ahead with Strategic Planning” project and $4,125 for its “Cataloging to Preserve Art for Posterity” project.

The Brundidge Historical Society received $1,000 for the “Tin Man: Charlie Lucas, The Stories” performance. Troy University was awarded $2,370 for the Wiregrass Blues Fest and $2,000 for “Nikky Finny: The Poet and her Poetry.”

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The Alabama State Council on the Arts awarded 140 grants totaling $1,433,365 at its Sept. 7 meeting. That round of grants will support arts in education, folk art, community, literature, performing and visual arts programs from Oct. 1, 2012 through Sept. 30, 2013.

“We were delighted to find out that the Alabama State Council on the Arts approved two grant requests by the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center,” said Morgan Drinkard, center director. “Our first application was for the continuation of a three-year grant to help with strategic planning and program development for the TPCAC. The grant received will ensure our organization has resources and plans for the future – a very integral part of our continued success.

“Our second grant request was for our Cataloging Art for Posterity project. The grant awarded will help the TPCAC document, preserve and catalogue the work of Pike County artists. All funds received have to be matched by the organization.”

Drinkard said that, as a non-profit organization, the arts center depends a great deal on grants.

“We are appreciative of everything the Alabama State Council on the Arts does to make sure the arts are most adequately funded in Alabama,” she said. “Wiley White is our development coordinator and works tirelessly to ensure we properly submit our applications with the correct programming ideas and documentation.”

Judy Fulmer, Troy University sponsored programs director, said the Troy University grants were for programs at the Dothan and Montgomery campuses.

“The 2nd annual Wiregrass Blues Festival will be held Dec. 8, at the Dothan Cultural Arts Center,” Fulmer said. “This year’s event will honor the legacy of blues legend Big Mama Thornton. The Alabama Blues Project will also perform at the event.”

Nikki Finney is an award-winning poet at the University of Kentucky and the winner of the 2011 National Book Award of Poetry, as well as several other prestigious awards. “Ms. Finney will open the 100th birthday of Rosa Parks celebration to be held at the Rosa Parks Library and Museum on Feb. 4,” Fulmer said.

Cathie Steed, a member of the Brundidge Historical Society storytelling committee, said the Charlie Lucas storytelling concert is an additional event for the committee.

Lucas is an internationally known Alabama folk artist and also has a storehouse of stories to share about his life and his association with legendary Alabama storyteller, the late Kathryn Tucker Windham.

“We are always looking for new opportunities to bring great storytellers to the We Piddle Around Theater and we are excited to have Charlie Lucas at our theater,” Steed said. “The Brundidge Historical Society is very appreciative of the support of the state arts council.”

Steed said the state arts council has been supportive of all the storytelling events at the We Piddle Around Theater and the annual Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival.

“Without the support of the Alabama State Council on the Arts, we would not be able to bring master storytellers to our theater and to our storytelling festival,” she said. “There is a nationwide revival of storytelling as an art form and as good, wholesome entertainment. We are proud to be a part of it.”

The Council makes grants to non-profit organizations, schools, universities, cities and a wide range of community groups. ASCA funds are matched by contributions from businesses, individuals, local government and earned income by the grantee.

Arts programs, assisted by Council grants, have a track record of contributing to community development, education, cultural tourism and overall quality of life in virtually all regions of the state.

The Alabama State Council on the Arts is the official state arts agency of Alabama. The staff of the Council, directed by Al Head, administers the grants programs and provides technical assistance in arts planning and programming. The Council receives its support through an annual appropriation from the Alabama Legislature and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.