Fulton County commits $1M for arts and culture grant program

Fulton County commits $1M for arts and culture grant program
Marvin Arrington Jr. talks with rolling out

On March 18, Fulton County Chairman Robb Pitts and Commissioner Marvin Arrignton Jr. announced committing an additional $1 million for the art services grant program.

“It’s very big, especially coming out of COVID,” Arrington said to rolling out. We’ve had a lot of artists and art organizations that didn’t do well, they weren’t able to open their doors and weren’t able to perform. Adding this additional $1 million will allow us to touch more people, artists and arts organizations to make sure that they have the funds that they need to survive and to continue to provide arts. Fulton County has led arts for the last 40 years in the southeast, and we want to continue to lead for the next 40 years.

Stephanie Owens, the executive director of the National Black Arts Festival was present at the event as well.  The festival seeks to ensure that art and stories of Black people are being presented and valued, and Owens thinks this is a big step towards improving that.

“Right now, we know the arts kind of kept us going over these past few years,” Owens said. “To get this intentional funding and commitment from the Fulton County Board of Commissioners is tremendous. So much would allow us to continue to do the important work to support artists so that we can bring all of you in the community the arts you love.

“The importance of the arts and culture in Fulton County is vital to the community, as it continues to bring together many people in a number of ways.

“It [art] is everything. We touch art in every different way,” Owens said. “Commissioner Arrington said it very well this morning. It transcends race, gender, sex and age. It’s one of those things that unite us, and it really can impact the world because it creates change through art.”

“Arts are so important,” Arrington said. It brings together people of all races, ages and gender, but it also helps with economic development. People want to go and work in places that are culturally diverse. They want to live in places that are culturally diverse, and the arts are a great way to show that cultural diversity.”

Arrington said during the event that he one day plans to grant $100 million to the arts, and he believes the city has the resources to do so.

“I think we have all of the government organizations and corporate organizations so that we can do a campaign and easily raise $100 million,” Arrington said. “With a corporate match program, individual donors program, Fulton County government, [the] city of Atlanta and neighboring governments, there’s a way for us to do a regional statewide arts council that really could raise real money to benefit artists and arts organizations.”

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