Several organizations in Rome, Trion and Bartow County were part of the Georgia Council for the Arts’s announcement to receive money from a $3.5 million competitive grant. The funding will be distributed to recipients across the state through its Bridge, Project, and Arts Education Program grants. A total of 324 grants were awarded during GCA’s initial disbursements for fiscal year 2025, and a complete list of these grantees can be found here.

The Bridge Grant will provide funding for operating support to 204 nonprofit arts organizations, many of which may have been negatively affected by shutdowns due to COVID-19. The Project Grant will help fund 45 single art projects, which may include an art exhibit, a theater production, a series of children’s workshops, an artist residency, or may be used for capacity-building projects, such as developing a strategic plan, creating a development plan, or providing professional development. The Arts Education Program Grant will be distributed to 75 organizations to support the arts in K-12 education, and may include a variety of disciplines, from visual art to music or theater, to dance and creative writing. 

In Floyd County, the Historic Desoto Threatre Foundation, Rome Little Theatre Inc, Rome Symphathay Orchastrica, and the Rome International Film Festival, will all receive funds.

Bartow County’s Intercultrual Fest Foundation Inc. will also receive funds as well a Chattooga County’s Paradise Gardens Foundation.

“Georgia’s arts organizations are enhancing our downtowns, creating jobs, and supporting small businesses. These grants will help arts organizations statewide strengthen communities where people want to live and visit, and businesses want to locate,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Further, these awards will support educational opportunities for students who will become the core creative workforce for Georgia businesses, contributing to the vitality of our state.”

Arts Education Program Grants will be used for projects like The Arts Center of Moultrie’s “ARTS FOR ALL” program, which aims to bring arts experiences to children of all ages by offering workshops in remote locations. In Hapeville, the Academy Theatre will use its Arts Education Program award to fund its “Bullies & Bystanders” film project for Georgia’s middle and high school students to raise awareness of bullying issues.

Funds awarded by Georgia Council for the Arts include appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Grant recipients include theaters, dance companies, museums, schools, cities, colleges, and multi-discipline arts entities. Additional grants for Vibrant Communities and Cultural Facilities programs will be awarded in fall 2024. 

“Meaningful arts experiences deliver positive benefits to cities and towns across the state by bringing people together, encouraging students to develop creative skills, and solving community challenges,” said Georgia Council for the Arts Executive Director Tina Lilly. “With this vital funding, GCA is able to support the growth of healthy, vibrant communities.”

Georgia Council for the Arts used Peer Review Panels to judge and review the eligible applications received. Following standard practices set by the National Endowment for the Arts, panelists include GCA Council members, fellow professionals who are experienced in the arts discipline or type of grant being reviewed, and Georgians with a record of arts activities, experience, and knowledge. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, arts and cultural production in Georgia account for $31.6 billion in the state, totaling 4.1% of Georgia’s economy, and accounting for more than 159,000 jobs.