Grant benefits ArtBridges

Published 6:21 pm Monday, September 1, 2014

The Johnson Center for the Arts in Troy has received a Community Service Grant in the amount of $1,000 in support of the Center’s ArtBridges, a year-round educational outreach program to the rural schools in Pike County.

Community Service Grants are awarded by an executive commission upon nomination or endorsement by a state legislator.

In making the announcement earlier this week, Sen. Bryan Taylor said the purpose of these funds is to help local communities meet specific needs in support of public schools and other educational projects or programs.

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“In this case, I nominated and requested a $1,000 grant for the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center to use in furtherance of its important educational programs,” Taylor said. “This Center is a jewel in Pike County’s crown, and education in the arts is often undervalued when budgets get tight. The Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center and its educational outreach programs truly enhance the character and quality of life of Pike and surrounding counties. I’m proud to support the program.”

Vicki Pritchett, Johnson Center executive director, expressed appreciation to Taylor for his support of the Johnson Center for the Arts and the arts in Troy and Pike County.

“Senator Taylor has visited the Johnson Center for the Arts several times and is a friend and proponent of the arts,’ Pritchett said. “Senator Taylor believes, as we do, that the arts are an important and vital part of the curriculum in our schools.

“His continuing support of the arts makes it possible for the Johnson Center to provide art opportunities and experiences for students that we would not be able to offer otherwise. His support is greatly appreciated and do thank him.”

Wiley White, Johnson Center development coordinator, said she and Taylor had talked several times about funding opportunities that might be available for the arts, in particular the Johnson Center.

“When Senator Taylor was in Troy last fall for the Republican Women’s event, he said there ‘might’ be something coming up in the spring and that his office would notify us,”

White said. “I had almost forgotten about it when Senator Taylor’s secretary called and requested information about the Center and our ArtBridges Educational Initiative.”

A short time later, a check was in the mail along with a letter from Taylor.

“Senator Taylor obviously appreciates the arts, arts education and all the positive things that an art center can bring to a community,” White said. “We are very appreciative of his suppor of our ArtBridges program.”

Pritchett said the objective in developing ArtBridges was to introduce arts education based on Alabama Course of Study Standards across the core curriculum, utilizing the high quality exhibition schedule of the Johnson Center for the Arts as the catalyst.

“Our goal is to foster appreciation for, and participation in, the arts using artistic expression and educational outreach to cross divides of generational, socioeconomic and cultural differences,” she said.

“ArtBridges has the potential to dramatically raise test scores and re-invigorate the learning process. The success of this project is leading us to grow our educational outreach over the coming years to encompass all grade levels of the City of Troy and Pike County school systems.”

The Johnson Center for the Arts is located on East Walnut Street in downtown Troy. The Center has year-round art exhibitions in both the upper and lower level galleries,

The Center’s hours are from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and until 3 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free.

For information about current and future exhibitions, call 334-670-2287.