ASCA awards grants to county art organizations

Published 4:00 am Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) awarded 113 grants totaling $1,600,055 at its meeting in Florence on Sept. 11.

This round of grants will support arts in education, folk art, community, literature, performing and visual arts from Oct. 1, 2015 through Sept. 30, 2016. Also included in this round of awards are operating support grants for major art institutions.

In this round of grants, two Pike County organizations received funding totaling

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$4,750. The Pioneer Museum of Alabama received $3,000 for its Pioneer Days folk festival and The Johnson Center for the Arts received $1,750 for its ArtBridges educational program.

Kari Barley, Pike Pioneer Museum director, said the ASCA grant funds will be used to pay the mileage to transport students by bus to Pioneer Days and to pay the bus drivers.

“We are extremely appreciative of the ASCA grant,” Barley said. “It will alleviate the cost of the schools transporting the students and will make it possible for more students to participate in the hands-on history event.”

Barley said Pioneer Days will celebrate 20 years Oct. 9 and 10 and the Fridays of the folk festival are historically designed especially for students.

“We already have reservations for 10 area schools and more reservation requests are coming in,” she said. “ We expect to have a thousands students for Pioneer Days.”

Barley said Pioneer Days will feature pioneer life-skill demonstrations including woodworking blacksmithing and cabin and outdoor cooking. The students will visit the one-room schoolhouse, see a Wild West show, visit with Davy Crockett and re-enactment campgrounds.”

The Johnson Center for the Arts received $1,750 for its ArtBridges program that includes a summer workshop for teachers and an in-school artist presentations.

“We are thrilled to receive funding for our teacher workshop and in-school program,” said Vicki Pritchett, Johnson Center executive director. “We will being going into different school systems, Pike County High School, Zion Chapel High School, Troy Elementary School and Pike Liberal Arts School on Sept. 28 and 29.

“During those two days, our guest artist, Darrell Ezekiel, will be talking with the teachers and students about how art can be used to enhance classroom learning.”

Pritchett said the visits will be to the classrooms of teachers who attended the Art Bridges teacher workshop this past summer.

“The teachers will use what they learned at the workshop to incorporate art into reading and history and even math,” she said. “Art can be used to enhance these subject areas and will assist us in fulfilling our mission to enrich the educational experience through the arts. We thank ASCA for their continuing support of the arts in Alabama.”

Vaughan Morrissette, ASCA Council chair, said the council is pleased to support educational groups, community organizations and various arts institutions with these recently approved grants.

“Funds awarded through the Council’s granting process provide enhancement for Alabama’s Creative Economy and overall quality of life for its citizens,” she said.

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, assistead 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.