In May the Arts Fund brought together 700 arts, business, community, and civic leaders at the annual Arts Fund luncheon to celebrate the 2007 Arts Fund grantees. We welcomed back representatives from arts organizations who have received grants over the last 15 years and shared an inspirational moment with Kenny Leon, artistic director of True Colors Theatre Company. (Photos)
The luncheon was made possible by the luncheon guests and our corporate and media sponsors, led by The Coca-Cola Company. Through their support the Arts Fund raised over $120,000, which will be used to help strengthen the small and midsized arts organizations that make up the foundation of Atlanta's arts community.
The 2007 Arts Fund Grant Recipients
Once a year the Arts Fund reviews applications from metro Atlanta's small and midsized arts organizations. This year, seven organizations received grants totaling $500,000 to fund new operating initiatives that will strengthen and stabilize their organizations:
Art Papers will use $110,000 to fund a new development and public relations staff position for the next three years; Conyers-Rockdale Council for the Arts will improve its theatre facility with a $75,000 grant; with $75,000 the Northeast Atlanta Ballet Ensemble will hire its first business manager; PushPush Theater will also hire a business manager with $68,000; Several Dancers Core
received $50,000 to establish a fund development staff position; and $75,000 will create a full-time group sales staff position at Theatrical Outfit. The Spruill Center for the Arts will receive $20,000 from the Arts Fund and an additional $50,000 from the Boston-based Fidelity Foundation to expand its staff and offer online class registrations. In addition to the above grants, the Arts Fund also awarded $27,000 to fund Arts Stabilization Toolbox awards and projects in the coming year (see article below).
In over 15 years of grantmaking, the Arts Fund has awarded more than $5 million in 124 grants to 62 organizations in metro Atlanta.
In The Field: Milestones For Our Grantees
Actor's Express hired Freddie Ashley as producing artistic director. (2006 grantee, 2005 Toolbox)
True Colors Theatre Company hired Wendy Riggs as managing director. (2006 grantee, 2005 Toolbox)
Arts Clayton received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to partially fund the Arts Clayton Mural project. (2002 grantee)
Youth Ensemble of Atlanta (YEA) received a grant from Theatre Communications Group’s New Generations Program to mentor YEA alumnus and current staff member, Ife Okwumabua to become a Future Leader in the arts. (2004 grantee)
Predrag Gosta joined the staff of Gwinnett Ballet Theatre as music director. (2007 Toolbox, 2002 grantee)
Atlanta Celebrates Photography hired Michael David Murphy as program manager. (2005 grantee)
The Spruill Center for the Arts announced that it is building a new 45,000 square foot art center and gallery complex on land it owns in Dunwoody. (2007 grantee, 2006 Toolbox)
This space is for announcements of our recent grant or Toolbox recipients. Please submit items to email@example.com.
Our Impact: The Arts Fund in the Community
Lisa Cremin serves on the executive committee of the board of Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA), a membership organization that explores ideas about arts philanthropy within a diverse community of grantmakers. In October both Lisa and Josh Phillipson will participate in the annual GIA conference in Taos, New Mexico.
At the Council on Foundations' 2007 Fall Conference for Community Foundations, Lisa Cremin and Arts Fund board member and Kendeda Fund advisor Barry Berlin will lead a discussion on leveraging an outside donor's funds to support foundation grant recipients. Since 2003, the Kendeda Fund has given more than $2 million to the Arts Fund for support of small and midsized arts organizations.
Four Organizations Receive Toolbox Awards
The Arts Stabilization Toolbox Award is granted three times annually to arts organizations who apply with a specific organizational challenge. Recipients are matched with a management consultant and work with the Georgia Center for Nonprofits to complete their project.
In June, four organizations were selected to receive Toolbox awards: Atlanta Lyric Theatre received an organization assessment; Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts will complete a strategic plan for the next three to five years; New Arts Exchange will develop an organization plan with a focus on its facility; and Ruth Mitchell Dance Theatre will complete an organization assessment and develop a hiring plan.
Additional Toolbox awards will be awarded after the September and December application deadlines. A full list of Toolbox recipients is available on the Arts Fund website.
Americans for the Arts Study: Arts & Economic Prosperity
"Nationally, the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166.2 billion in economic activity every year—$63.1 billion in spending by organizations and an additional $103.1 billion in event-related spending by their audiences."
Americans for the Arts has released a study that documents the key role played by the nonprofit arts and culture industry in strengthening our nation’s economy. Arts & Economic Prosperity III: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organizations and Their Audiences demonstrates that the nonprofit arts and culture industry is an economic driver in communities—a growth industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is the cornerstone of tourism.
In addition to the national report, which brings together the findings from 156 communities across the country, Americans for the Arts has produced a separate report with just the data from the Atlanta community. To see how Atlanta compares to other cities around the country, download the Atlanta Report (word, 3mb).