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Pike county arts organizations win grants

The Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) awarded 137 grants totaling $505,245 at its council meeting December 10 in Montgomery. This round of grants will support arts in education, folk art, community, literature and performing and visual arts programs statewide January 1 through September 30, 2018.

Four Pike County organizations received grant awards totaling $13,580.

The Brundidge Historical Society received a $2,800 folklife award for the 2018 Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival. The Pioneer Museum of Alabama also received a folklife award in the amount of $2,080 for its Spring Plantin’ event .

The Troy Arts Council’s $3,700 community arts award was for the council’s 2018 performing arts season. The Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center received an Arts in Education grant award in the amount of $5,000 for the ArtBridges Teacher Development Workshop.

Those at the helm of the local arts organizations were in concert in expressing appreciation to ASCA for including them in the grant awards. The awards make it possible to continue to provide arts opportunities throughout rural Pike County, they said.

Wiley White, JCA exhibition coordinator, said the ASCA grant funds will make it possible to continue to offer the ArtBridges summer teacher development workshop.

“Without this grant, we could not offer the workshop which is so beneficial, not only to the teachers involved, but to the students countywide,” White said. “The workshop is facilitated by art educators and the artist whose work is on exhibit at the JCA.”

White said the workshop is made available to teachers throughout the county.

“The ArtBridges workshop is designed to teach art techniques that can be used as a bridge to other disciplines, including language arts, history, social studies, math and science.”

Troy Arts Council President Joel Williams said ASCA has been a longtime supporter of the TAC and that support has been vital to its programming and services.

“We have been very fortunate to receive funding every year that we have applied and we are very appreciative of ASCA’s continuing support,” Williams said. “In addition to supporting our performance events throughout the year, the grant funds make it possible for us to offer grants to music and art teachers all across Pike County and to also award the annual Jean Lake Scholarship to a graduating high school senior who plans an art related career.”

The mission of the Pioneer Museum of Alabama is to offer opportunities to learn from the past and, what better way than to provide hands-on opportunities for children, said Kari Barley, museum director.

“The funds from this grant cycle will be used to support our Spring Plantin’ event where students actually get involved in the planting activities,” Barley said. “They learn about the crops that were the lifeblood of our pioneer communities and have an opportunity to plant seeds. They also learn about the folkways of those times. It is also an opportunity for others to revisit or experience the folk ways of Alabama pioneers.”

Mernette Bray, BHS vice president, said ASCA came on board with storytelling events even before the first Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival in 2007.

“The state arts council provided funds for two storytelling concerts in 2005 and 2006,” Bray said. “The success of those events motivated us to move ahead with the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival. With ASCA’s support, we are able to bring nationally acclaimed storytellers to Pike County for four public performances and a performance at Troy University for all high schools in the county and also an in-school performance for elementary students that is rotated between the county and city schools.

ASCA makes grants to non-profit organizations, schools, universities, cities and a wide range of community group. ASCA funds are matched by contributions from businesses, individuals, local government and eared 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.