South Arts Awards Over $500,000 in Grants Throughout Region


Last month, South Arts’ Board of Directors approved 125 grants totaling over $500,000 to support performing, film, and literary arts programming throughout the South. These grants, which are made possible through funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, support organizations presenting out-of-state artists for public performances, film screenings, readings and educational activities.

“Supporting touring arts throughout our region is a critical part of our mission,” explained Susie Surkamer, executive director of South Arts. “Exposing audiences to a diverse selection of artists and creating opportunities for deep engagement are crucial to fostering a vibrant quality of life.”

The grants cover the nine states in the South Arts region: including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Organizations applied throughout the spring and were notified of their selection status in May and June; grants are matched at least dollar for dollar by the recipient organization.

“We aim to support a wide variety of arts that reflect and enhance our region,” continued Surkamer. “Some highlights of what we are supporting this year include a three-state tour to four communities presenting Keigwin + Company and a collaborative dance and music project at Duke University with Ronald K. Brown, as well as artist residencies at Red River Revel’s festival in Shreveport, Louisiana and the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta. We are also funding an Artist-in-Residence program involving mentoring for emerging and mid-career writers at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida.”

Grants supporting the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers bring films and their filmmakers to underserved communities for screenings and educational activities. “One of our screening partners for the Southern Circuit is Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky, which is over twenty miles away from the nearest movie theatre,” continued Surkamer.

A full list of South Arts’ grant recipients and programs is available at www.southarts.org. Organizations interested in applying for the next grant cycle are recommended to sign up for South Arts’ email list and continue to visit their site.