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South Arts Awards Over $300,000 in Arts Grants Throughout Region

By Ivan Schustak, Director of Communications and Development, SouthArts –

SouthArts LogoSouth Arts, a Regional Arts Organization serving nine states in the Southeast, has announced $311,349 in grants to 70 arts organizations throughout the region. These grants, made possible through funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, support organizations presenting out-of-state artists for public performances and educational activities.

“The arts are integral to both the economic success of our region and our quality of life,” said Susie Surkamer, executive director of South Arts. “Organizations in communities throughout the region leverage our funding for significant impact. Last year, our grantmaking funds enabled an additional $3.4 million to be raised and spent by the organizations with which we work. Additionally, according to a recent study by Americans for the Arts, performing arts audiences spend approximately $25 per person above and beyond the price of admission. The ripple effect from investing in the arts deeply impacts local economies.”

The grants, which must be matched at least dollar for dollar by the recipient organization, support organizations in South Arts’ nine state region: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Organizations applied this spring and were recently notified of their status.

In Tennessee, the following organizations received a SouthArts performing arts touring grant:

  • Lee University of Cleveland received a $4,356 Regional Touring grant to present WindSync in January 2018.
  • Germantown Performing Arts Center of Germantown received a $6,038 Regional Touring grant to present Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE in February 2018.
  • Campbell Culture Coalition of LaFollette received a $2,234 Regional Touring grant to present Dom Flemons in September 2017.
  • Memphis Blues Society of Memphis received a $1,120 Regional Touring grant to present Vasti Jackson in September 2017.
  • Orpheum Theatre Group of Memphis received a $5,738 Regional Touring grant to present Rhythmic Circus in November 2017.
  • Orpheum Theatre Group of Memphis received a $5,963 Regional Touring-Block Book grant to present Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in February 2018.
  • Conservancy For The Parthenon & Centennial Park of Nashville received a $4,219 Regional Touring grant to present North Mississippi All-Stars in September 2017.
  • Global Education Center of Nashville received a $3,966 Regional Touring grant to present Ballet Plata y Oro in October 2017.
  • Native American Indian Association of TN of Nashville received a $2,768 Regional Touring grant to present Native American Dance Troupe/Living History Women in October 2017.
  • OZ Arts of Nashville received a $5,700 Regional Touring grant to present Zoe|Juniper in September 2017.

“Supporting the careers of artists, especially those from within our region, is central to our mission,” continued Surkamer. “This year, we are supporting organizations presenting Ballet Memphis, South Georgia Ballet, and Columbia City Ballet, each of which are excellent dance companies who will share their work in performances and residencies. From Florida’s jazz pioneer Chick Corea to Tennessee’s young bluegrass band The Barefoot Movement, we are very proud to support touring artists who call our region home as well as the audiences they serve.”

In addition to these performing arts touring grants, South Arts will announce the recipients of literary arts touring grants later this month. The literary arts grants support the presentation of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry authors for public readings and educational workshops.

Applications for South Arts touring grants for nonprofit and governmental organizations in the nine-state region open in November each year with deadlines in March and May. Additional information is available atwww.southarts.org.


The Tennessee Arts Commission congratulates all of the organizations across the region, but especially those in Tennessee.

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