ASCA awards multiple grants to Troy

Published 3:00 am Friday, June 19, 2015

At its June meeting in Montgomery, the Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) awarded 14 fellowship grants including one arts administration fellowship totaling $70,000, and five Arts and Cultural Facilities grants totaling $102,000, for a grand total of $172,000.

Chris Rich, Troy University associate professor of design (theater) was awarded a Fellowship in Theater in the amount of $5,000 and the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center in Troy was awarded a $15,000 Arts & Cultural Facilities grant.

Fellowship grants are awarded to individual artists and are based on merit of work, career achievement, professional development and service to the state. Arts and Cultural Facilities grants are awarded for planning, design or construction of an arts space. All projects must involve top professionals with demonstrated expertise in urban and/or community planning, architecture, landscape design or historic preservation

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Rich’s received the grant award for his collections of stage designs that are enhanced by the dramatic atmosphere created with his lighting effects.

In making the award, Barbara Reed, ASCA public information officer, said, as a design artist, Rich consistently executes high quality, cutting edge designs in the academic setting.

Rich said he is honored by and appreciative of the grant and plans to use the funds to further his career by setting aside time to research current trends and develop more tech savvy methods of theater technical production.

“With these funds, I will be able to attend master’s classes and conferences across the United States that focus on theater technology,” said Rich, who is a Florida native. He received his undergraduate degree from Troy University and his master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Alabama. He came to Troy University by “happenstance.” “I had recently returned to the mainland from Hawaii when I was asked to design a set for a production at Troy University,” Rich said. “When a position in the Troy University theater department came open in 2001, I applied for and got the position.”

Rich’s work in lighting and sound design has received numerous regional and national recognitions as well as regional recognition for scene design from the Kennedy Center-American College Theater Festival.

He is a past president of the Alabama Conference of Theatre and sits on the board of directors of the Southeastern Theatre Conference, where he chairs the Keynote Emerging Artist of Promise Award.

The Johnson Center for the Arts was awarded an Arts & Cultural Facilities grant for renovations to its facility to provide classrooms for furthering arts enrichment and learning. The additional space will allow for the cultural enhancement through the education and exposure to the arts.

The cultural facilities grants program provides support to organizations large and small in an effort to enhance spaces for arts creation and presentation. In all cases where a grant is awarded, evidence of community support is a key element, said Al Head, ASCA executive director.

“In the past ten years since the inception of the program for cultural facilities, the council has provided support for diverse projects in communities from all parts of the state,” Head said. “This year’s support includes the communities of Mentone, Montgomery, Selma, Northport and Troy. All of these facility oriented projects represent important initiatives to enhance spaces where arts programming will involve all of the community.”

Vicki Pritchett, Johnson Center executive director, said the vision of the Johnson Center is to have an educational facility and the facilities grant will make the first step toward that dream possible.

“We are thrilled that ASCA realizes that our vision and dream is for the Johnson Center, not to just display art, but a place where people of all ages can experience art,” Pritchett said. “For the first phase of the renovation of the annex, we plan to have two K-12 classrooms where the students who visit the Johnson Center can go to create art of their own.”

Pritchett said the renovation project also includes classrooms for continuing education for adults.

“Whether their interest is painting, music or pottery, we want the adults of our community to have a place to pursue their interests,” she said. “We are excited that ASCA has come on board with us for the design phase of the annex renovation project. Once we get the design completed, we will be ready to put out for bids and begin seeing the renovation project come about.”