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Arts groups awarded grants
Arts WEB
Kevin Tallant, center, speaks with Debbie Little, left, and Adam Pingel on Thursday during the Forsyth County Arts Alliance Luncheon at the Forsyth Conference Center. - photo by Autumn Vetter

On the net

For more information about the Forsyth County Arts Alliance, visit www.forsythartsalliance.com.

Eight Forsyth County organizations received grants from the Forsyth County Arts Alliance during a luncheon Thursday.

Andy Burt, president of the FCAA board of directors, said the annual event, which this year was held at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center, is a way to honor organizations receiving grants.

“It’s our opportunity to recognize them in a public environment,” he said.

Burt said each year the alliance awards a total of about $50,000 in grants to a range of organizations.

“One of our goals is we try to support and give grants to a diversified group of arts, whether they be visual or performing,” he said. “Some of those are government-related, some are schools, some are churches. It’s a good cross-section of things we like to support.”

The alliance was founded in 2005 after the sale of the Sawnee Cultural Arts Center to Forsyth County.

The building on Tribble Gap Road currently houses the Forsyth County Tax Commissioner’s Office.

“We took the proceeds from that [sale] and started the endowment,” Burt said. “It took us a couple of years to develop our mission and how we wanted to be … once we decided that and got together, we partnered with the North Georgia Community Foundation over in Gainesville, which handles the investments and all that.”

Burt said the first grants were awarded in 2008.

“We had to skip ’09 because the market went down and we didn’t have the investment income to make it,” he said. “But over the four years, we’ve given over $200,000 to support the community.

“We’re happy to do it because we’re passionate about supporting arts in our community.”

This year’s recipients included:

• Cumming First United Methodist Church, which received $10,000 for its annual Festival of Arts, held each spring.

• Forsyth County Public Library System, which received $9,700 for three art installations at the Post Road branch, slated to open July 2013.

• North Georgia Symphony Orchestra, which received $5,000 for a spring concert.

• Northside Hospital-Forsyth Auxiliary, which received $7,000 for its Healing Sounds program.

• Lambert High School, which received $2,500 for its Family Music Festival.

• The Cumming Playhouse, which received $6,000 for a new stage curtain and operating system.

• Sawnee Artists Association, which received $7,000 for two shows.

• Forsyth Central High School, which received $2,000 for a children’s drama program.