Foundation to award arts grants April 29

Published 10:25 pm Monday, April 17, 2017

Since 2005, the Black Belt Community Foundation has been providing grants to various community organizations over a 12-county area of Alabama in hopes of promoting the arts.

The foundation started accepting application in February for its Black Belt Arts Initiative, and with the financial help of the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, will award groups from all 12 counties with grants.

“One of the points of the Black Belt Community Foundation is to promote and stimulate the arts as a part of life in all of the Black Belt, and celebrate the arts of the Black Belt because it reflects the culture … and lets people know who we are in the Black Belt,” said Daron Harris, public relations director of the Black Belt Community Foundation. “We’re really proud of it because it really shows so much of the brilliance and the value that’s just inherent to the region and what’s unique about the region and its culture.”

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The counties represented are Bullock, Choctaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Perry, Pickens, Sumter and Wilcox.

Harris said most of the grants awarded will be amounts up to $3,000, and two organizations that focus on art education will receive $10,000 grants.

“We were very impressed [with the applicants] as we are every year,” Harris said.

“We were really impressed with them all and we try to work very carefully to make sure that each of those grants really reflects the nature of what they’re doing and the communities that they’re benefiting.”

The foundation will hold a ceremony at the Selma-Dallas County Public Library April 29 at 11 a.m. to award the recipients.

“We all understand the importance of arts in the community and this is a direct way of showing how we can help with grants that come from government-based organizations,” Harris said.

“The money … goes directly to work for the benefit of the people of Alabama.”