The National Endowment for the Arts may have an uncertain future, but that didn’t stop it from announcing $2.7 million in grants to 15 Georgia arts groups this week, all but two of them based in metro Atlanta.

NEA art works logoThe grants are part of the NEA’s second round of funding for fiscal 2017. Nationwide, the grants will total $82 million and help fund 1,195 projects. In his proposed fiscal 2018 budget, President Trump eliminates the NEA,  the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Center for Public Broadcasting and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Congressional leaders countered as part of a bipartisan spending deal, restoring all 2018 NEA funds and adding $2 million.

Moving in the Spirit will use  grant money for its Stepping Stones program, hourlong classes for boys and girls ages 3-18.
Moving in the Spirit will use grant money for its Stepping Stones program, hourlong classes for boys and girls ages 3-18.

The NEA also has earmarked $742,200 for the Georgia Council for the Arts to disburse, and $1.5 million to Savannah-based South Arts for its work throughout the Southeast.

The NEA, established in 1965, is an independent federal agency that funds, promotes and strengthens communities’ creative capacity by providing all Americans with opportunities for arts participation, according to its website.

The NEA has touched most, if not all, of metro Atlanta’s nonprofit theater, music and dance companies. It regularly funds community orchestras, art therapy for veterans and small arts groups that might not otherwise survive.

The Georgia grants, in descending order:

  • $150,000 to WonderRoot, which works to improve Atlanta’s cultural/social landscape. This money goes to the group’s Our Town project, an effort to revitalize the Oakland City neighborhood.
  • $100,000 to Deep Center in Savannah for its Savannah Stories creative-writing literacy program  and a program that will team young people with writers and visual artists to investigate coastal Gullah-Geechee river life.
  • $50,000 to Alternate ROOTS, a nonprofit that supports the creation and presentation of original art rooted in community, place, tradition or spirit. This money goes to its Partners in Action initiative, which is focused on community art-making.
  • $35,000 to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra via the Woodruff Arts Center. The money supports next season’s LB/LB Celebration marking the centenary of Leonard Bernstein and Ludwig van Beethoven.
  • $25,000 to Moving in the Spirit, a 31-year-old nonprofit that teaches dance and leadership skills to children and teens in underserved Atlanta neighborhoods.
  • $10,000 to ArtsATL, the nonprofit arts and culture website, for a monthly series of feature videos and long-form profiles of Atlanta culture-makers.
  • $10,000 to the ArtsBridge Foundation for field trips to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. The money will help students see the Atlanta Opera, Atlanta Ballet, Kennesaw State University College of the Arts performances and more.
  • $10,000 to the Atlanta Chamber Players for a Southeastern tour that includes in-class visits and workshops with music students.
  • $10,000 to Aurora Theatre to support its Carnaval del Dia de los Muertos in November, events that celebrate the traditional Mexican holiday Day of the Dead.
  • $10,000 to the Center for Puppetry Arts to support its staging of Cinderella Della Circus (running June 20-July 23), written and directed by artistic director Jon Ludwig.
  • $10,000 to The Creatives Project for a storytelling program that focuses on diversity for the elderly, youth and people with disabilities.
  • $10,000 to Serenbe Playhouse to support its August staging of the musical Cabaret.