Fulton County awards $2.3 million in funding for artists and art nonprofits
The Contracts for Service program supports arts and culture activities that provide opportunities for life-long learning and participation in the arts.
By Allison Joyner
Last month, the Fulton County Arts and Culture Department announced they distributed $2.3 million to individual artists, art programs and art-related organizations through its Contracts for Service program (CFS).
The department chose 190 residents and organizations to give financial assistants towards events, projects, and activities around the capital county this year. The recipients applied under specific criteria, including artistic merit, service to the community and field, organizational effectiveness and accessibility.
“Our program’s mission is to provide accessibility and information for all Fulton County residents while also contributing to the economic vitality of the community,” said David Manuel, Director of the Fulton County Department of Arts and Culture.“The organizations and artists that we support are just a variety of people from Fulton County that enriches what we offer in this great capital.”
The department was established in 1979 by the County Board of Commissioners to enhance the quality of life of county residents and support cultural programs that provide services to its communities.
In addition to the art centers operated by the department — the Emma Darnell Museum and Conference Center, the Johns Creek Arts Center and the West End Performing Arts Center — the CFS provides contracts for arts and culture organizations, cultural institutions and colleges and universities, as well as units of the government that produce or present ongoing arts programming for the general public.
Last year, the CFS distributed $1.3 million in funds for similar programs in exposing equity and inclusion to the county’s residents. With the $1 million increase the department received this year, they will be able to assist in more communities all over the county.
“Equity and inclusion are a priority for what we do as stewards of Fulton County’s cultural resources. We are pleased to support and champion the rich cultural resources provided by the arts community in Fulton County through the pandemic,” Manuel said.
ARTiculate ATL received $6,000 from CFS during this funding cycle. The non-profit organization provides local, emerging artists a professional environment to show and sell their artwork. Their grant will fund their annual showcase, which hosts an auction from their participants and highlights performances from visual artists and DJs.
Additionally, The City of Roswell was awarded almost $16,000 to sponsor this year’s Dia de Los Muertos Festival happening on Oct. 29. The holiday, generally celebrated in Central and Southern Mexico, is centered around the remembrance of lost loved ones as communities come together to celebrate their memory and pray for their safe spiritual journey.
“Art has always been important, but we’re just coming out of Covid and many, so many people suffered, including the arts community,” Manuel said. “People stayed home, watched movies — that’s part of art — and so we got an up close and personal taste of what life is like when you’re locked in because art was our saving grace.”
He continued: “Now that we’re coming out of some form or new form [of life with the virus], we’re showing appreciation for what art provided us. It’s healing our soul and I’m excited to be part of [an organization] who gets it.”
Manuel said that art programs and organizations that are interested in funding from the CFS would open in late fall and close at the end of January.
Click here to see the complete list of recipients.