BCAC gets state grants

Published 12:36 am Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Beaufort County Arts Council has been awarded $88,383 in total grant funding from the N.C. Arts Council for fiscal year 2011-2012.

The grants will cover a variety of programs throughout the region. BCAC applied for and received grant money in four out of the four categories in which applications were submitted.

An Arts In Communities Grant for Grassroots Arts Programs in the amount of $13,383 will be used to support local arts organizations such as the Beaufort County Choral Society and the Beaufort County Orchestra. Part of these funds will also go to support a school residency by black storyteller Joyce Greer to affect all elementary students countywide.

In addition, funding will be available to support BCAC’s annual BoCo Music Festival, an exhibit by artists Dion Burroughs, Erskine Spruill and Alexandra Bloch in September and the area’s first Multi-Cultural Festival to be held in October.

An Arts-In-Education Artist Residency Grant in the amount of $5,000 will support a weeklong stint by artist Bryant Holsenbeck, who will work with fourth-graders from Chocowinity Primary School on a landscape architecture installation at the school.

An Arts In Communities Regional Arts Partners Grant in the amount of $15,000 will be used to work with neighboring Hyde and Washington counties to ensure that these communities, which do not have established arts councils, will receive quality arts programs that affect schools and community audiences. BCAC also serves as the fiscal agent for Hyde County’s Grassroots Grant funds.

An Arts In Communities Technical Assistant Grant in the amount of $55,000 will be used to support a regional coordinator position to serve all arts councils east of Interstate 95 as the N.C. Arts Council continues its initiative to focus more attention on communities in the eastern part of the state.

“State funds allow BCAC to provide quality arts programming for students and adults, while also sustaining our local economy,” said Joey Toler, executive director of the local arts council.

Last year, BCAC provided programming that reached more than 10,000 people, including residents, visitors and students throughout Beaufort County. Highlights of this support included the Aurora Fossil Festival, Bath Fest and Belhaven’s annual Fourth of July celebration.

“The support of our grants program by the General Assembly during these economically challenging times demonstrates the role the arts play in our economy and our quality of life,” said Mary B. Reagan, executive director of the N.C. Arts Council. “Nonprofit arts organizations employ workers, stimulate commerce, generate tax revenues and help communities retain their vibrancy.”

More than 8.7 million people participated in NCAC-funded projects last year in schools, senior centers, museums, concert halls and community centers. Nearly 2.9 million of these were children and youth.