Grant cycle open for Black Belt Community Foundation art grants

Published 10:01 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2018

By Adam Dodson | The Selma Times-Journal

Throughout March, Selma will be the host of numerous art workshops put on by the Black Belt Community Foundation to benefit children from 12 different counties.

Each year, the BBCF applies for grant money from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and then uses the funds in a re-granting process that goes towards school-level kids in multiple communities.To accomplish this, six art workshops are put on during March, with three being located in Selma. These workshops allow applying arts organizations, such as schools, non-profits and others, to meet in person with Black Belt Community Foundation members, so they can get a better understanding of how these organizations plan on using the grant money if chosen as a recipient.

Attendance at one of the workshops is mandatory for those who wish to qualify for the arts grants. According to BBCF’s arts program director, Angie Soulé, the 2018 arts grant total reaches $80,000 for the applicants, which will go towards the promotion of arts through three different categories: arts education programming, professional development and arts exposure.

“When we can sit there and see them face to face, we are able to help them better. If we can get these kids funding for the arts for a variety of towns, then it will enrich all those communities,” said Daron Harris, public relations director for the Black Belt Community Foundation. “We would be able to keep programs more local. It would lead to a sense of community pride.”

The BBCF plans on giving away a quarter of this money through two $10,000 grants that will cover arts education programming, which would include after school arts programs and could also benefit teachers who educate in the varying forms of arts such as writing, music, painting and theater.

The other $60,000 in funds will mostly go towards professional development and arts exposure programming, which could include organizations committed to honing artists’ crafts, as well as some of the money going towards smaller educational programs.

According to Harris, organizations who received money from 2017 came from all twelve counties covered in the grant program. This includes Dallas, Wilcox, Pickens, Lowndes and Marengo Counties.

Selma will host three of these workshops, with the first beginning on Wednesday, March 7 from 10 a.m. to noon; the second on Thursday, March 8 from 6 to 8 p.m.; and the third taking place Tuesday, March 13 from 10 a.m. to noon. All three Selma workshops will be held at the Black Belt Community Foundation’s office, located on 609 Lauderdale Street.

The other three workshops will take place in Camden, Tuskegee and Livingston.

For more information regarding the Black Belt Community Foundation’s arts grant workshops, or to apply online, visit their website at www.blackbeltfound.org.