By Marie Hodge Gordon
The Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA), a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, is currently accepting applications for two grant programs for arts organizations across the state. Vibrant Communities Grants support a variety of arts programming opportunities, including those taking place online due to COVID-19, while Cultural Facilities Grants support the restoration or renovation of a building to be used for arts programming.
“Our arts community has felt the painful effects of COVID-19 acutely,” said Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “It’s particularly meaningful to be able to offer communities across Georgia the opportunity to earn a Vibrant Communities Grant or a Cultural Facilities Grant to help meet today’s needs and provide for future investments in organizations that make significant contributions to our quality of life and our economy. Our peer review panels always have a difficult job choosing among the applicants, but I trust their counsel and encourage qualifying organizations to apply for these opportunities.”
Vibrant Communities Grants: The Vibrant Communities Grants are available to organizations in counties that did not receive a Fiscal Year 2021 Project, Partner, or Arts Education grant, which were announced in July. Vibrant Communities will fund programs such as performances, exhibits, residencies, workshops, murals, public art, and festivals, among other types of arts programs. Due to the potential impact of COVID-19 on arts programs during Fiscal Year 2021, online programs are also eligible for Vibrant Communities Grant funding.
The Vibrant Communities Grant is open to any nonprofit organization, government entity, library, school, college, or university located in an eligible Georgia county. Applicants may request from $1,000 to $5,000, and the grant requires a 50% cash match. The deadline to apply is August 28, at 11:59pm.
The GCA will offer an training webinar for grant applicants. A recording of the webinar, applications, examples of eligible projects, and full guidelines for Vibrant Communities Grants are available at https://gaarts.org/what-we-do/grants/vibrant-communities-grant/.
Cultural Facilities Grants: The Cultural Facilities Grant was introduced as a new grant program last year. This grant will support the construction, renovation or acquisition of a building, or the addition of equipment, to support arts programs. Examples of eligible projects include renovating a building to be accessible to people with disabilities, carrying out a preservation project on a historic building, purchasing or new construction of a building for use as an arts facility, or building an outdoor stage or amphitheater.
Eligible applicants for the Cultural Facilities Grant include nonprofit arts organizations or local governments that own arts venues. Applicants may request a maximum of $75,000 and a minimum of $10,000. The deadline to apply is August 29 at 11:59pm. Applications and full guidelines for Cultural Facilities Grants are available at https://gaarts.org/what-we-do/grants/cultural-facilities-grant/.
Following National Endowment for the Arts precedent, the GCA will use Peer Review Panels to adjudicate applications. These panels included fellow professionals who are experienced in the arts discipline or type of grant being reviewed or are Georgia citizens with a record of involvement in arts activities, experience, and knowledge.
The mission of Georgia Council for the Arts is to cultivate the growth of vibrant, thriving Georgia communities through the arts. GCA provides grant funding, programs, and services statewide that support the vital arts industry, preserve the state’s cultural heritage, increase tourism, and nurture strong communities. Funding is provided by appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit the council’s website at https://gaarts.org.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development is the state’s sales and marketing arm and the lead agency for attracting new business investment. The department works to expand existing industry and small businesses, align workforce education and training with in-demand jobs, locate new markets for Georgia products, attract and increase tourism, and promote the state as a destination for the arts and as a location for film, music, and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development. Visit the department’s website at https://gaarts.org/