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Groups get grants from arts alliance

POSTED: August 13, 2014 12:03 a.m.
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The Forsyth Arts Alliance recently awarded grants to several Forsyth County nonprofits and schools, including Riverwatch Middle School and PTA for Rock for the Arts.

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FORSYTH COUNTY — A number of Forsyth County nonprofits and schools will receive grant funding from the Forsyth Arts Alliance.

The organization, which was formed in 2008 after the sale of the Sawnee Cultural Arts Center to Forsyth County, has awarded an average of $50,000 per year to various organizations for artistic endeavors that benefit the community.

“The [alliance’s] mission is to provide support for the growth and development of the arts in Cumming and Forsyth County,” said James McCoy, treasurer of the group.

“The grants are used to support organizations and events that provide the citizens of our community with opportunities to enjoy the arts and help them grow.”

Among the list of 2014 grant recipients are: the Forsyth County Library system; University of North Georgia Foundation; UNG’s Symphony; Sawnee Artists Association; and Sounds of Sawnee Community Band.

The Northside-Hospital Forsyth Auxiliary and Riverwatch Middle and Forsyth Central High schools also received grants, as did the Vine Community Church and Lanier Technical College’s Forsyth campus.

Laura Bradley, program manager for the library, said the system garnered two grants through the program.

One is for a mural at Hampton Park Library and the second for a visit by author Lisa See, which will be part of the library’s annual Forsyth Reads Together Program. That’s scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.

“[See’s visit] is our big, culminating event with Forsyth Reads Together and we’ll have several other smaller programs in the few weeks leading up to her visit,” Bradley said.

The reading program, which encourages the entire community to read the same book and enjoy activities related to it, will focus this year on See’s “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.”

Bradley said the Arts Alliance grant was essential for the program.

“We certainly couldn’t bring authors to the community like this without receiving that sort of grant, so we’re definitely very fortunate to have that resource,” she said.

“Not only will [See’s visit] provide a multicultural experience for our community, because the novel is based on her own Chinese culture, but it will also provide a nice literary experience for our community with being able to meet the author and hear her speak about her work.”

See is the second author whose visit was funded through an Arts Alliance grant. Last year’s Forsyth Reads Together author, Rick Bragg, also visited through one of the grants.

Among other programs that will be funded through this year’s grants are music therapy programs for patients at Northside-Forsyth, a permanent mixed media art display for the student center lobby at Lanier Tech and Forsyth Central High School’s Drama and Art Experience for elementary students.

Sawnee Artists Association received several grants for programs such as a fall photography show, Christmas Arts & Crafts Festival, and its March Art Madness Show and Sale.

This year, a total of almost $48,000 will be given to the various organizations in amounts ranging from $2,000 to $5,000.

The grants are funded each year through interest that is earned from money in an endowment after the sale of the arts center in 2008.


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