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Arts Alliance gearing up for grants
Information workshop March 22
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Forsyth County News

At a glance

The grant workshop is set for 5 to 7 p.m. March 22 at the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce’s board room. Registration is required and can be handled online by visiting the community calendar on the chamber’s Web site at For more information, or to register by phone or e-mail, call (770) 887-6461 or e-mail

The Forsyth County Arts Alliance is at it again.

Despite the sluggish economy, the nonprofit arts support organization again plans to award $50,000 to various groups this year.

“Local arts organizations have felt the pressure of a challenging economy and we hope this grant funding will help those organizations provide great programming and arts opportunities for our community,” said James McCoy, the alliance’s past president.

The alliance was created from the $2 million sale of the Sawnee Cultural Arts Center to county government in 2005. The center had been used to help promote arts in the community.

Through the alliance, money from the sale was invested in the North Georgia Community Fund and is used to fund local arts projects.

In years past, grants have gone to local high schools, arts festivals, college orchestra concerts, upgrades to the Cumming Playhouse and a therapeutic music program at Northside Hospital-Forsyth.

To help organizations prepare to apply for a grant, the alliance will hold a workshop March 22 in the board room at the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, which McCoy leads.

Andy Burt, alliance president, said the workshops are “informational and just give an overview of our grants process and help people learn how to properly fill out an application.”

“We’ve had people that come back each year,” he said. “They’re not required to, but it’s a good opportunity to ask questions and learn more about what we’re looking for.”

Only nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations can qualify for grant money, and those seeking funding must present projects that will support the arts in the community, Burt said.

Workshop attendance is not required to receive a grant, Burt said. And those that do attend don’t get any preferential treatment.

“Any group that’s trying to either expand the arts or be involved in the arts community, we would certainly consider their applications,” he said.