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Arts Association in Newton County receives national endowment for the arts grant

COVINGTON, Ga. - The Arts Association in Newton County has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support LEAP - Learning Enrichment through the Arts Project.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support the excellence and diversity of arts programs across the country, including organizations like the Arts Association, that make the arts accessible to people in Newton County and further enhances the vitality of their community,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu.

“We were so excited when we were notified that we received this grant,” Abigail Coggin, operations director of the Arts Association, said.  “The funds will go towards LEAP.  Annually the Arts Association partners with the Newton County School System to provide opportunities for students to attend world-class artistic productions.  For example, all NCSS 4th graders are transported by bus to Porter Performing Arts Center every December where they watch members of the Covington Regional Ballet and guests perform Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker”.  With over 70% of NCSS students qualifying for the free and reduced lunch program, this is the first time many of these students have attended a ballet.  It is so heartwarming to listen to the students’ amazement as they enter the auditorium for the first time and then to see the glimmer of hope in their eyes as snow begins to drift across the theater. “

“Not only are the students learning about the art form itself, but they are also gaining the ever, important background knowledge that helps a child learn and understand what is being taught in school,” Coggin said.  “Curriculum guides are shared with the teachers so the students will be prepared before they attend plus they will understand how the art form and the performance are linked across the subject areas they study in school.”

During the 2017 – 2018 school year the following LEAP events have taken place or will take place:

2nd Graders: October, 2017: Celli – Atlanta’s own professional cello group

4th Graders: December, 2017: Covington Regional Ballet’s Nutcracker

3rd Graders: January, 2018: Andy Irwin – Singer, Songwriter, Storyteller

1st Graders: March, 2018: Oxford Acting Co and Youth Singers’ Mary Poppins the Musical

Kindergartners: April, 2018: Oxford Singing Children’s Little Mermaid Musical

5th Graders: May, 2018: Covington Regional Ballet’s Beauty and the Beast

“We always want to try to add a little bit of magic to our productions,” Coggin said. “This grant is helping us to do just that. Not only would I like to take this opportunity to thank the NEA selection committee for helping us make the arts accessible to our community but I also want to thank the continued support from the corporations, foundations and individuals that donate to the Arts Association every year.  Our organization is funded solely by donations.  We could not begin to provide opportunities like LEAP for our community and the students in the Newton County School System without the support of our generous supporters.”

The NEA is the federal agency that supports and funds the arts to give all Americans the opportunity to experience creativity and participate in the arts. NEA programs and funding support thousands of activities in communities large and small across the country. To learn more about the National Endowment for the Arts, please visit Follow the conversation about this and other NEA‐funded projects on Twitter at @NEAarts.

To learn more about the Arts Association and its programming, please visit .