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Georgia Council for the Arts, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, announced the recipients of the Vibrant Communities and Cultural Facilities grant awards for fiscal year 2021.  Paradise Gardens in Chattooga County was the recipient of a Cultural Facilities grant.

The Vibrant Communities Grant supports a variety of arts programming opportunities in communities, and the Cultural Facilities Grant supports the restoration or renovation of a building to be used for arts programming. Seventy-seven entities in 58 counties will receive more than $585,000 in funding as part of this year’s awards.

“A thriving arts community creates thousands of jobs and contributes to a healthy and diverse economy.  The Georgia Council for the Arts is proud to continue to support our state’s arts organizations through the distribution of Vibrant Communities and Cultural Facilities grants,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “The arts community needs our support more than ever, and this funding offers immediate assistance in housing and facilitating arts programs that provide meaningful experiences for Georgians.”

Georgia Council for the Arts received 115 applications from arts organizations, schools, libraries, cities, historical societies, community theatres, Boys & Girls Clubs and more. The Vibrant Communities Grant is available to organizations in counties that did not receive a fiscal year 2021 Project, Partner or Arts Education Grant, and allowed applications to support online programming due to COVID-19. Cultural Facilities Grants are available to arts organizations for repairing, preserving or acquiring an arts facility, or for purchasing equipment.

Following precedent set by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Georgia Council for the Arts used Peer Review Panels to adjudicate applications. These panels included fellow professionals who are experienced in the arts discipline or type of grant being reviewed, or are Georgia citizens with a record of involvement in arts activities, experience and knowledge.

Georgia’s creative industries have a reported $62.5 billion impact on the economy, generating roughly $37 billion in revenue and accounting for about 200,000 jobs in the state.