Arts scene could improve with Pepsi grant

Published 8:38 pm Monday, April 12, 2010

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ArtsRevive is in the running for a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh Grant.

“Refresh, Revive, and Restore Selma, Ala.’s Historic Carneal Building for the Arts” is one of 1,140 project ideas submitted for this month.

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ArtsRevive is renovating the Carneal building at the corner of Water Avenue and Church Street and is looking for additional funding to complete the project.

“This would brighten that corner of Water Avenue and hopefully will bring in tourism and we can restore one of these historic buildings before it is lost,” said Ann Thomas, board member of ArtsRevive and chairperson of the Carneal building committee.

Projects compete for grants in the amounts of up to 10 grants at the $5,000 level, 10 grants at the $25,000 level, 10 grants at the $50,000 level and 2 grants at the $250,000 level in categories of health, arts & culture, food & shelter, the planet, neighborhoods and education.

Top voting recipients in each category will be awarded the grant.

Currently, the ArtsRevive project is ranked 114. They will need to be in the top 10 to be awarded the funding.

“If we get this grant we could open up this building up for limited use,” Thomas said.

Upon completion, the building will have an art gallery space, workroom, small kitchen, storage area, small office, restrooms and outdoor courtyard.

Currently, Thomas and local business and contractors are working to renovate the interior.

“Most of what’s happening inside is not visible,” Thomas said. “We’re doing it a little chunk at a time.”

The grant money, if awarded, will be allocated $10,000 to upgrade restrooms, $15,000 to replace the electrical wiring, $10,000 to construct an indoor classroom/ workroom and art storage facility and $15,000 to build a retaining wall, sculptured fencing and bricking patio for the outdoor courtyard.

The building and courtyard will be available to rent for private parties.

Arts Revive is not the only local project seeking grants from PepsiCo Inc.

The Dallas County Schools reading coaches are looking to receive a $250,000 grant to buy supplies, gain more tutors, offer students motivational incentives for reading and provide teachers with substitutes so they can attend consultation sessions to improve professional development of reading instruction and programming.

“It’s entirely possible that multiple grant winners can be from the same community,” said Amanda Burdick, spokeswoman for the Pepsi Refresh Project.

The two finalists for the $250,000 grants for March are from Mississippi. One finalist, from Flowood, Miss., outside of Jackson, Miss., will fund one year of research of spinal muscular atrophy, which is an inherited disease that causes progressive muscular degeneration. The other finalist, from Hattiesburg, Miss., will construct a home for disadvantaged children called Homes of Hope for Children.

PepsiCo Inc. launched the grant contest in January for voting during February and grant distribution in March. The company plans to give away $20 million in grants during 2010. All funding must be used within one year of acceptance and must be used in a U.S. based project.

Prior to sending the grant money, all finalist projects will undergo a verification process to check the credibility of the project by Global Giving, an online marketplace that connects communities with world-changing ideas.

Winners will also receive assistance from two other PepsiCo partners.

GOOD, a collaboration of non-profits, businesses, and people, is responsible for heading the grant process and assist in bringing grantees ideas to life.

Do Something, the largest non-profit teen charity, will provide award winners with ongoing support.

Voting closes April 30. Finalists will be announced May 1. To vote for ArtsRevive, visit