Foundation awards $80,000 in art grants

Published 2:24 pm Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Black Belt Community Foundation awarded $80,000 in grants supporting the arts in a ceremony Saturday morning at the Selma-Dallas County Public  Library.

The grants went to more than 25 organizations in 12 counties, including several in Dallas County.

Some 48 applications were received for this year’s grants, and 27 were awarded funding.

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Community-based organizations from all twelve Black Belt counties of the BBCF service area (Bullock, Choctaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Perry, Pickens, Sumter and Wilcox counties) were encouraged to apply.

Since 2006, the foundation has awarded more than $1.7 million through its Black  Belt Arts Initiative, which is a partnership formed in 2006 with BBCF, the Youth and Cultural Committee of the Black Belt Action Commission and the  Alabama State Council on the Arts.

The goals of this project are to work in partnership with local community based organizations to forge collaborations with local schools to advance arts education, to document and promote the region’s artistic assets, to assist arts organizations in becoming more efficient and effective and to provide opportunities for citizens of the Black Belt region to be exposed to and participate in the arts. Local grants awarded include:

ArtsRevive CDC, $2,950 to support the fifth annual Tale Tellin’ in the Schools by placing storytellers in schools in Selma and Dallas County.

Black Belt African American Genealogical and Historical Society, $2,696, to create a video presentation of the Pauline Dinkins Anderson Historical Photography Collection for Black History Month 2018.

Orrville Volunteer Fire Department, $1,200, to support children’s art and to help with stipends for demonstrating artists at the 15th West Dallas Antique Tractor, Car, Gas Engine and Craft Show.

Okra Festival (Lowndes County), $3,000 to support the annual Okra Festival that incorporates the arts, crafts, music and food, focusing on the vegetable okra.

Marion Perry County Library Association (Perry County), $3,000, to promote traditional arts and crafts and performing arts during the Marion Perry County Public Library’s Camp Doodle.

BAMA Kids (Wilcox County), $3,000, to support the arts and cultural activities during the BAMA Kids Summer enrichment program.

Camden Community Youth Development (Wilcox County), $3,000, to support a six-week summer art camp consisting of music, drama and visual arts for at-risk youth.

Lily Baptist Community Center and Youth Development (Wilcox County), $1,500, to support a six-week summer arts program for pre-K through 12 grade for the youth of the Red Creek community.

National County of Negro Women (Wilcox County), $3,000, to support an African and Caribbean film festival.

For more information on the Black Belt Arts Initiative, please visit, or contact Jo Taylor, BBCF Program Manager for the Arts, at, or (334) 874-1126.