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Arts Alliance seeks grant applications
Workshop Thursday will provide insight
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Forsyth County News

At a glance

• A free workshop Thursday will offer guidelines and assistance for organizations interested in applying for a grant from the Forsyth County Arts Alliance. The session is set for 5 to 7 p.m. at the Cumming Library, 585 Dahlonega Road. Registration is required. Call (770) 887-6461, e-mail cfccoc@cummingforsythchamber.org or visit the community calendar at www.cummingforsythchamber.org.

• For more information on the workshop or the alliance, visit www.forsythartsalliance.com.

Elementary students got to watch live theater at Forsyth Central High School, the North Georgia Symphony Orchestra had a spring concert and the Cumming Playhouse has a new stage curtain.

These are just a few programs the Forsyth County Arts Alliance has supported through its grant program that began in 2008.

About $200,000 has been given since then and the alliance is looking this year to award another $50,000 to promote local arts initiatives.

“We’ve been able to do so many things that have had a lasting impression around here,” said Kevin Tallant, alliance board president. “I think we’re pretty unique in our community in our ability to continue to support the arts in such a public and permanent way, even during the struggling economic climate that we find ourselves in.”

For those interested in applying for a grant, the alliance is holding a free workshop from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Forsyth County Public Library’s Cumming branch to help with the process.

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 playhouse and a therapeutic music program at Northside Hospital-Forsyth, among many others.

Tallant said any nonprofit or governmental organization is welcome to apply for a grant. Typically fewer than a dozen organizations are selected, largely because officials want the grants to ensure the project happens.

“It’s really a balancing act between trying to reach as many people as possible, but making sure the people that we do reach that we’re supporting them to a level where they can pull off what they’re wanting to pull off,” Tallant said.

“We go through the process of trying to fund as many projects as possible in a way that allows us to touch as many disciplines as we can and spreading the art throughout the community.”

While the alliance strives to make a large financial dent in these arts projects, Tallant said these groups must have alternate funding.

“We don’t fund anybody’s budget 100 percent,” Tallant said.

Letters of intent to apply for grant money are due by April 26, with the actual application for funding due May 24. Recipients will be announced this summer.