ArtsNOW Awarded ‘Vibrant Communities’ Grant from Georgia Council for the Arts

by | Apr 26, 2024

Speaker in a room full of people talking about the power of arts integration at Angel Oak Elementary School

ArtsNOW was awarded a Vibrant Communities grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts, a strategic arm of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, for fiscal year 2024. The Vibrant Communities Grant supports a variety of arts programming throughout the state.

As a District Partner in Education with the Barrow County School System, ArtsNOW seized the opportunity to utilize this grant to introduce more BCSS students to the enriching world of arts-integrated learning.

Through the grant's generous funding, ArtsNOW proudly launched "Arts in the Afternoon," an innovative after-school program designed to engage students from second through eighth grade. This program, spearheaded by ArtsNOW Consultants Shannon Green (Visual Arts) and Susie Spear Purcell (Theatre), in collaboration with ArtsNOW Barrow Teacher Leaders Laura Payne and Ashley Bailey, offered a dynamic curriculum spanning three weeks.

Over 50 students enrolled from ten different BCSS schools. Students enjoyed “Arts in the Afternoon” with Balanced Sculptures (Week 1), I Am Poems & Masks (Week 2), and Spring Painting (Week 3). There was no cost to students due to the generous funding from the Georgia Council for the Arts and its supporters.

“Arts funding is crucial for the cultivation of vibrant, thriving communities, and Georgia Council for the Arts is excited to help our arts organizations achieve their mission, enhance downtowns, and support small businesses,” said Georgia Council for the Arts Director Tina Lilly. “We hear from grantees about how the investment of these dollars provides long-term benefits for organizations and communities, and we are grateful to the Georgia General Assembly for providing this support to improve quality of life across the state.”

About Georgia Council for the Arts

Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) is a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development whose mission is to cultivate the growth of vibrant, thriving Georgia communities through the arts. GCA provides grant funding, programs, and services statewide that support the vital arts industry, preserve the state’s cultural heritage, increase tourism, and nurture strong communities. Funding for the Georgia Council for the Arts is provided by appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit for more information.

About GDEcD

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, align workforce education and training with in-demand jobs, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a destination for arts and location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development. Visit for more information.