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Local organizations receive funding

At its September quarterly meeting in Jasper, the Alabama State Council on the Arts awarded 219 grants totaling $3,667,300 to arts organizations in communities across the state.

The grants were in response to applications submitted to the Alabama Arts Recovery Program and the Alabama State Council on the Arts grant cycle that ended June 1,2021.

Four Pike County arts organizations received ASCA grant funding totaling $29,600.

The Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center received $22,00; Troy University received $2,500; the Pioneer Museum of Alabama received $2,900; and the Brundidge Historical Society received $1,200.

Brenda Campbell, Johnson Center for the Arts director, expressed appreciation on behalf of the Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center for the grant funds that will be used in support of the Troy Town & Gown Series and Center Stagers. The arts center grant funds also included an Alabama Arts Recovery Grant.

“We cannot thank ASCA enough for their support over the years and, especially during the pandemic,” Campbell said. “The grant funds make programming possible that would not be otherwise.”

Campbell said the Town and Gown Series will feature an opera workshop and performances at The Studio including the music ensemble POPulus and Frequency and three workshops at the Troy University Studio.

“We are extremely proud of the Town and Gown relationship that the Johnson Center for the Arts has with Troy University,” Campbell said. “The relationship makes it possible to offer a variety of art opportunities that bring the two communities together.

Center Stages is a drama and dance program for young people that is directed by Tori Lee Averett, Troy University coordinator of theater education.

“The drama and dance program offers an opportunity for class instruction and also for performances,” Campbell said. “This is a unique program that would not be possible without the ASCA grant.”

Carrie Jaxon, curator of the International Arts Center at Troy University, said ASCA support is important to the campus opportunities Troy University provides for young students.   

“The Junior Warriors program was implemented before COVID and we appreciate ASCA’s support in making it a reality for fifth graders in the city schools.” Jaxon said. “Junior Warriors brings the students on campus for participation in a workshop facilitated by Troy University art education students.”

The young students visit the IAC and view the gallery exhibitions. They also visit the Confucius Institute and have lunch at Trojan Dining.

“Many students, who live here in Troy, have never been on campus,” Jaxon said. “Junior Warriors provides an art experience and the opportunity to experience their hometown university.”

Barbara Tatom, Pioneer Museum of Alabama director, also had thanks for the ASCA for its support of museum programming and most recently the upcoming Pioneer Days, which is a two-day living history event.

“We are more than grateful for the grant and ASCAs’ continuing support,” Tatom said. “Pioneer Days is our annual two-day event and it brings people of all ages to the museum. The demonstrations include the folk arts and feature rope making, woodworking, blacksmithing and fabric dying, to name a few.  Re-enactors portray a variety of periods in Pike County’s history including the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Civil War period. Pioneer Days is an opportunity for visitors to tour the museum and the buildings on the grounds. It is a great time of learning and fun.”

Anne Register, Brundidge Historical Society program coordinator, said the ASCA grant makes it possible for the BHS to open the doors of the We Piddle Around Theater once again.

“We have had to cancel all of our events since January 2020, so we can’t express what this grant means,” Register said. “Josh Goforth will be the featured performer at our Chili Country Christmas event. He is a talented storyteller and musician, who has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry, at Carnegie Hall and everywhere in between. We thank ASCA for the opportunity to open our doors once again and for their long, standing support of ‘Come Home, It’s Suppertime,’ our original folk life play, the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival and the many other events at our historic We Piddle Around Theater.”

The Alabama State Council on the Art (ASCA) has supported Alabama’s arts throughout the pandemic and the culture sector through its grants, said Dr. Elliot Knight, the council’s executive director.

“As arts organization across the state safely reopen and return to in-person operations, we continue supporting recovery through the Alabama Arts Recovery Program,” he said.