$170K doled out

Published 7:56 pm Saturday, May 15, 2010

During an awards program Saturday at Wallace Community College, the Black Belt Arts Initiative donated $170,000 to 43 non-profit organizations over 12 counties in the Black Belt.

The Black Belt Community Foundation has been working for six years to help out some of the local arts programs and businesses with grants.

“I think this is a unique adventure for this area and for the state of Alabama,” said Felecia Jones, the executive director of the Black Belt Community Foundation. “It is unique because it was formed to help the community do what it needed to do. Not necessarily to come in as an antidote, but to come in and get the community to tell us what their needs are and where we can help them.”

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The foundation is provided funding from the Alabama State Council of the Arts through the Governor’s Black Belt Action Commission.

The foundation has spent the past five years giving grants to worthy community and arts grants to almost 100 non-profit organizations in 12 participating counties.

“One of the things we are most proud of is in the six-year period of time we have been around we have been able to award grants to organizations in the Black Belt totaling over $1.3 million,” said Jones. “And that is phenomenal. We have really tried to reach the people.”

Jones said that the foundation has tired to make itself available to those who need it in the area.

Dallas County grant recipients were: Arts Revive-$5,000, McRae Learning Center-$5,000, Orrville Volunteer Fire Department-$5,000, Selma Arts Guild-$2,500, Selma High School Choral Boosters Club-$5,000, The Journey School-$5,000, The Selma Children’s Museum-$1,800, Tyler Rose Organization-$1,650