Arts receive grants

Published 4:00 am Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) announced Thursday the awarding of 118 grants totaling $368,938 in support of arts in education, folk art, community, literature, performing and visual arts programs for the period January 1, 2016 to September 30, 2016.

Three Pike County arts organizations received grant funding totaling $20,085. The Brundidge Historical Society received grant funds in the amount if $4,500 for its annual Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival.

The Troy Arts Council’s grant award of $5,085 was for Pike County area arts programming. The Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center received two grants, both in the amount of $5,250 for a total of $10,500. The grants were for Leonard: Interaction with Abstraction and the ArtBridges Teacher Development Workshop.

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Lawrence Bowden, Brundidge Historical Society president, said the State Council on the

Arts first gave its support to the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival 10 years ago.

“ASCA took a chance on a storytelling festival in a town of 2,000 and, so far, more than 9,000 people have attended the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival and nearly 6,000 students have had an opportunity to hear nationally and internationally acclaimed storytellers weave magic with words.

“The Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival will celebrate its tenth year in January and we have the Alabama State Council on the Arts to thank. Without the council’s support and confidence, the festival would not have happened.”

Bowden said the storytelling festival open the door for two other annual storytelling events at the We Piddle Around Theater.

Dr. John Jinright, Troy Arts Council presenter chair, said the ASCA grant is vital to the council’s programming.

“We couldn’t do what we do without the support from the Alabama State Council on the Arts,” Jinright said. “We are extremely appreciative of the council’s continuing support of our organization. The funds we receive help us bring nationally and internationally acclaimed artists to Troy and Pike County. We try to have an educational component for each program including workshops and performances for students. We make education a prior for everything we do.”

The Troy Arts Council offers six to seven arts programs in each of its calendar years. The programs are open to the public. Programs and performances for students are free.

Vicki Pritchett, Johnson Center executive director, said she is thrilled with the grant funding from the State Arts Council because it will make it possible to bring a working artist to the Center for two weeks and also for the expansion of the center’s Tony Scott ArtBridges program.

“With the grant funding, we will bring a San Francisco contemporary impressionist artist James Leonard to the center in the fall,” Pritchett said. “He will do demonstrations at Troy University and we will bring area students to The Studio for his demonstrations. He will also do an Art Talk for the public.”

Pritchett said Leonard’s audiences will benefit from the sharing of his style of art. Leonard will also bring awareness to the importance of keeping his style of art alive.

“ArtBridges is a summer workshop for teachers who want to learn how to integrate art into their classrooms,” Pritchett said. “During the school year, the participating teachers have the opportunity for the artist(s) to come into their classroom for a presentation. This grant will make it possible for us to expand the ArtBridges program to a greater extent outside Pike County.”

ASCA makes grants to non-profit organizations, school, universities, cities and a wide range of community groups. The 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 enhancing community development, education, cultural tourism and overall quality of life in virtually all regions of the state.