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State agency awards Newton County arts association $5,000
Legion Field drive-in concerts
Legion Field Drive-In Concerts are among the programs the Arts Association helps sponsor. - photo by Special to The Covington News

COVINGTON, Ga. — Community Arts Association in Newton County will receive a $5,000 grant for its programming from the Georgia Council for the Arts, a state senator announced.

“While many businesses throughout the state continue to face barriers returning to normalcy, it is important that we don’t overlook the important role that art and culture institutions play in our communities,” said District 17 State Sen. Brian Strickland, R-McDonough, in a news release. 

“I am grateful to see that Newton County was selected for this grant that will aid District 17 in retaining arts programming for all to enjoy,” Strickland said. “I look forward to working with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Georgia Council for the Arts and other organizations to continue to find vital funding for our district.”

Georgia Council for the Arts, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, announced the Arts Association as being among 77 grant recipients. 

The Arts Association received the Vibrant Communities Grant, which supports a variety of arts programming opportunities in communities.

A separate Cultural Facilities Grant supports the restoration or renovation of a building to be used for arts programming. More than $585,000 in funding was part of this year’s awards.

The Community Arts Association in Newton County is a nonprofit organization dependent on corporate, foundation and individual donors to provide quality arts programming and education, according to its website.

Community programs and events include Newton County Community Band, Theatre Covington, Luncheon & Summer Evening Concerts on the Square and True Colours Youth Art Exhibit.

Serving Newton County for more than 30 years, the organization also serves eight counties and more than 50 schools through its Young Artists Programs and concerts, becoming a regional provider of the arts.

Young Artist Programs include Covington Regional Ballet Company and School, Oxford Singers, Oxford Acting Company, Newton County Youth Strings, and several summer camps such as Creative Kids Camp and Musical Theatre Camp. 

The Arts Association was one of 77 entities in 58 counties across Georgia selected for a Vibrant Communities Grant for the 2021 fiscal year.

State Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson said, “A thriving arts community creates thousands of jobs and contributes to a healthy and diverse economy. The Georgia Council for the Arts is proud to continue to support our state’s arts organizations through the distribution of Vibrant Communities and Cultural Facilities grants.

“The arts community needs our support more than ever, and this funding offers immediate assistance in housing and facilitating arts programs that provide meaningful experiences for Georgians.”

Georgia Council for the Arts received 115 applications from arts organizations, schools, libraries, cities, historical societies, community theatres, Boys & Girls Clubs and more. 

The Vibrant Communities Grant was available to organizations in counties that did not receive a fiscal year 2021 Project, Partner or Arts Education Grant, and allowed applications to support online programming due to COVID-19. 

Following precedent set by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Georgia Council for the Arts used Peer Review Panels to adjudicate applications. These panels included fellow professionals who are experienced in the arts discipline or type of grant being reviewed, or are Georgia citizens with a record of involvement in arts activities, experience and knowledge.

Georgia’s creative industries have a reported $62.5 billion impact on the economy, generating roughly $37 billion in revenue and accounting for about 200,000 jobs in the state.