Pike County organizations receive arts grants

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Two Pike County organizations were awarded grants by the Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) at its Sept. 13 meeting in Huntsville.

The grants awarded to the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center and the Brundidge Historical Society were among 140 awarded throughout the state by ASCA in the September round.

The grant awards totaled  $1,490,300 and will support the arts in education, folk art, community, literature, performing and visual arts programs that happen between Oct. 1, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2014. Also included in the round of awards are operating support grants for major art institutions.

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Morgan Drinkard, Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center executive director, said the two grants awarded to the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center totaled $4,800 and will support the arts center’s Tony Scott ArtBridges Education program.

The Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center received a $3,300 grant for its ArtBridges Teacher Workshop and a $1,500 grant for the ArtBridges School Outreach program.

“The ArtBridges Teacher Workshop is the first phase of our arts education program,” Drinkard said. “It was started several years ago as a way to work with teachers on how to integrate the visual arts into the core subjects. By doing so, we could raise the number of people impacted by the arts.”

Drinkard said the school outreach program is an opportunity for artists and educators to go into the schools and implement art projects that introduce students to different art mediums.

“The Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center is very appreciative of ASCA’s support,” Drinkard said. “Aside from the excitement over the financial part of the grant award, it reinforces ASCA’s confidence in what we do.”

The Brundidge Historical Society also received two grants, both in the amount of $1,000.

“The grants that we received are for our annual Peanut Butter Festival, which is a harvest and heritage celebration, and the other is for our annual Chili Country Christmas event,” said Johnny Steed, BHS president.

Steed said the Peanut Butter Festival is a folklife festival that features demonstrations, old-time crafts and traditional music. The Chili Country Christmas celebration features nationally-acclaimed storytellers and folklife performers with a backdrop of traditional music.

“At 22 years, the Peanut Butter Festival is our oldest event and the Chili Country Christmas is our most recent,” Steed said.

Steed said that BHS is committed to the preservation and promotion of the physical and cultural heritage of the rural South.

“The grant awards by ASCA are validation that what we are doing is worthwhile,” he said. “Without ASCA’s support, we would be limited in what we can do to preserve and promote the folk arts. We are extremely grateful for ASCA’s continued support.”

The Alabama State Council on the Arts 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.