(Media release from the Georgia Council for the Arts):
Georgia Council for the Arts, a strategic arm of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), today announced the recipients of its Bridge, Project, and Arts Education grants as part of its initial disbursement of grants for fiscal year 2023, which began on July 1. A total of 253 grants were awarded for arts initiatives throughout the state. This year’s more than $3.1 million in grant funding is an increase of more than $1 million over last year’s total. Recipients include organizations from Floyd, Chattooga, Gilmer, Catoosa, and Whitfield counties.
The Bridge Grant will provide funding for operating support to 134 organizations, the Project Grant will help fund 59 art projects, and the Arts Education Program Grant will be distributed to 60 organizations. A complete list of the 213 first-round fiscal year 2023 grantees can be found here.
“Georgia’s arts industry supports the health of our communities, employs tens of thousands in cities and towns of all sizes across the state, and enhances our daily lives and experiences,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Our arts organizations are constantly creating, innovating, and flourishing as sources of inspiration for our communities. We are pleased to distribute funding that will contribute to the vitality of our state.”
Funds awarded by Georgia Council for the Arts include appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly, the National Endowment for the Arts, and $2 million from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), which enabled more grants and larger awards compared to last year. Grant recipients include theaters, dance companies, museums, schools, cities, colleges, and multi-discipline arts entities. Additional grants for Vibrant Communities and Cultural Facilities programs will be awarded in fall 2022.
“The arts sector has proven its resilience over the last two years, and it has played a major role in restarting the economy through attracting tourism, bringing communities back together, and aiding classroom learning as we inspire the workforce of the future,” said Georgia Council for the Arts Executive Director Tina Lilly. “The 253 grants we have awarded will help cities and organizations bring more people back to work while enhancing the qualities that make Georgia so special.”
Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) used Peer Review Panels to judge and review the eligible applications received. Following standard practices set by the National Endowment for the Arts, the panelists are made up of GCA Council members, fellow professionals who are experienced in the arts discipline or type of grant being reviewed, and citizens with a record of arts activities, experience, and knowledge.
In 2020, Georgia’s arts and creative industries employed 134,217 workers, who earned wages and benefits totaling over $11.4 billion, according to a National Endowment for the Arts report. Despite unprecedented challenges, the industry contributed $23.8 billion, or 3.8% of total state GDP, to the state’s economy.