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Arts Huntsville, city celebrate ‘State of the Arts’

HUNTSVILLE – The City of Huntsville and Arts Huntsville, with support from the Pei Ling Charitable Trust, awarded $280,000 in grants to 21 regional arts organizations last night.

The “State of the Arts” Reception and Huntsville Arts & Cultural Grant Program Awards was Wednesday in the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber auditorium.

“Behind every thriving city is a dynamic creative arts community,” said Arts Huntsville Executive Director Allison Dillon-Jauken. “This year, as Huntsville celebrates its number one ranking as the best place to live in the U.S., we’re proud to honor our vibrant arts community that contributes so much to our quality of life.

“From dance to theatre, music and visual arts, these grant-funded programs serve more than 180,000 area residents and visitors with vital arts experiences and educational opportunities that enrich our community every day.”

The Huntsville Arts & Cultural Grant Program is designed to nurture artistic excellence, encourage public access to arts and cultural programming, expand arts education opportunities, and develop the organizational capacity of Huntsville’s nonprofit arts and cultural organizations.

The grant award winners are:

  • Opera Huntsville – $19,600 to support the 2023 season.
  • Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theatre – $19,600 for performances and educational activities for their 62nd
  • Broadway Theatre League of Huntsville – awarded $17,638 for its student outreach programs.
  • Independent Musical Productions – $16,657 to support the 2022-23 season and 30th year celebration.
  • Ars Nova – awarded $18,510 for its 2022-23 season: A Study in Contrasts.
  • Dance All Productions – awarded $16,648 for its youth enrichment program and young choreographer’s project.
  • Theatre Huntsville – $16,330 to support the 2022-23 season.
  • Inside Out Studio – $16,112 to fund a studio manager position.
  • Huntsville Community Drumline – $15,567 to fund free percussion lessons to the community.
  • Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center – $14,259 to support the Happy HeARTS Program.
  • Brass Band of Huntsville – awarded $14,252 for the group’s Youth Brass Academy.
  • Huntsville Community Chorus – $13,510 to expand the staff and Treble/Chorale music library.
  • Huntsville Youth Orchestra – $13,496 to support its Music of the Americas project.
  • Huntsville Master Chorale – $12,861 for the 2023 season and Community Choral Festival II.
  • Huntsville Chamber Music Guild – $12,248 for 2022-23 season of eight concerts by artists from around the world.
  • Maitland Arts Initiative – $12,166 to support the 2023 Urban Orchestra Feeder Strings program.
  • Alabama Youth Ballet Theatre – awarded $11,757 for its dance education and education-based outreach.
  • Southern Fried Film Festival – $7,675 to support the 2023 film festival.
  • Tennessee Valley Jazz Society – $7,477 to support “Music of the Civil Rights Movement” project.
  • Huntsville Traditional Music Association – $2,475 to support 2023 programming.
  • Huntsville Literary Association – $1,262 for its young writers contest.

The initial award for this program was $100,000 in 2013 in city-funded grants for area arts organizations. This year, the fund’s award amount increased to $280,000 from $250,000 in 2022. The money was provided as pass-through grant funding and part of the City’s FY23 budget.

Dillon-Jauken and Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle were guest speakers at the ceremony, which featured special remarks celebrating “The Art of Engineering” by Todd May, senior vice president, Science & Space Business Unit at KBR.

Eligible Huntsville-based nonprofit arts organizations submitted grant applications last fall. A citizens grant panel representing the arts and each of Huntsville’s five City Council districts evaluated the applications. The panel included Wesley Ortiz, District 1; Cathy Callaway, District 2; Tasha Wiley, District 3; Amy Bailey, District 4; and Victoria Jones, District 5; along with council members John Meredith, Devyn Keith, David Little, Dr. Jennie Robinson, and Bill Kling.

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