BBCF awards $80,000 in arts grants across Black Belt region

L to R: Carol P. Zippert and Darlene Robinson, BBCF Board President,accept grant award for annual festival

The Black Belt Community Foundation awarded $80,000 in arts initiative grants to 29 community based organizations in its 12 county service region. The awards ceremony was held Saturday, May 5, 2018 at the Hank Sanders Technology Center at Wallace Community College Selma.
Community projects benefiting through the awards include museums, community theaters, festivals and youth organizations offering concentrated arts programs. Through these individual projects, it is anticipated that nearly 22,000 Black Belt residents will be inspired, affected, or touched in some way – whether by taking a local art class, by viewing a musical or theatrical performance, or by visiting a local folk arts festival.
In Greene County, the Society of Folk Arts & Culture was awarded $2,500 for the production of the annual Black Belt Folk Roots Festival. Other awards throughout the Black Belt region included: In Bullock County, a total of $3,500 was awarded; in Choctaw County, $1,655; in Dallas County, $11,500; in Lowndes County, $2,500; Macon County, $8,500; in Marengo County, $2,500; in Perry County, $2,500; in Pickens County, $4,975; in Sumter County, $4,500; and in Wilcox County, $15,370.
Two organizations received Art Education grants of $10,000 each – Coleman Center for the Arts and Tuskegee-Macon County CDC.

BBCF President Felecia Lucky stated, “Our arts grant review committee has been incredibly impressed with the diverse spectrum of inspiring arts programs presented to us in application for 2018 grants funding. Being able to reach nearly 22,000 people across our service counties through these grants is a testament to the support we receive from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.“
BBCF was established in 2004 to support community efforts in the Black Belt that contribute to the strength, innovation, and success of all the region’s people and communities. A partnership formed in 2006 with BBCF, the Youth & Cultural Committee of the Black Belt Action Commission, and the Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA), which established the Black Belt Arts Initiative.
The goals of this project are; to work in partnership with local community based organizations, to forge collaborations with local schools to advance arts education, to document and promote the region’s artistic assets, to assist arts organizations in becoming more efficient and effective and to Provide opportunities for citizens of the Black Belt region to be exposed to and participate in the arts.
Since 2006, $1,400,671 has been awarded through BBAI Arts Grants to support various arts activities across BBCF’s twelve-county service area. In total, BBCF has invested over $3.8 million from BBAI Arts, Community and other grants into regional nonprofits, based in and serving Alabama’s Black Belt.