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DRA grant will help ArtsRevive with Carneal building project

ArtsRevive recently received some great news that the organization was chosen by Gov. Kay Ivey and the Delta Regional Authority, together with several partners, to receive a $58,424 grant.

The grant was part of $1 million that was awarded to seven economic developments across the Delta region of the state.

“The Delta Regional Authority is an essential partner to Alabama in helping us meet the needs of the most rural parts of our state,” Ivey, DRA states co-chair, said. “By investing more than $1 million in our state, DRA is helping rural communities strengthen their infrastructure, improve economic opportunities and increase access to important cultural enhancements.”

Martha Lockett, executive director of ArtsRevive, said her organization has worked on the grant for more than six months. She didn’t believe ArtsRevive would be selected until she got the phone call.

“We really had thought that we didn’t have a chance for that,” Lockett said. “We were absolutely beside ourselves. It was just one of those things that you thought wasn’t going to happen.”

The group has been working to raise money for the last two and a half years. With this grant, they can begin to see the end of their construction work, Lockett said.

“That is about half of what we need to completely finish the Carneal Building,” Lockett said. “It’ll help with getting it finally heated and cooled and the installation of the doors so that it can be a fully functioning Cultural Arts Center, and we can start doing the programming that the community has wanted us to do.”

The investments were made through the DRA States’ Economic Development Assistance Program (SEDAP), the agency’s main federal funding program that invests in basic public infrastructure, transportation infrastructure, workforce development, and small business and entrepreneurship projects.

“This new funding will continue to spur economic growth and opportunities in rural Alabama,” U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby said. “Monroeville, Carrolton, Tuskegee, Camden, Selma and Perry County, as well as the entire state, will benefit from these investments, and I am grateful for the partnership Alabama continues to have with the DRA.”

Lockett said ArtsRevive is thankful for the grant, which will allow them to work on creating a small office, paint and improve lighting. The funds will also help replace doors, heating and cooling and insulation so the building can be used year round.

“We would really like to thank the Delta Regional Authority, Gov. Kay Ivey, Max Boswell and people in Selma who spoke on our behalf and told the Delta Regional Authority that the work we were doing has value,” Lockett said. “We’re really grateful for the support for local government and their faith in us to help make this a reality.”