Alabama Center for the Arts

Dateline: December 6, 2019

The Alabama Center for the Arts is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $25,000 3M Community Vibrancy Grant. The purpose of this grant is to help improve the quality of life in underserved families, increase access to youth development programs for underrepresented children, and provide access to vibrant and diverse art opportunities.

The ACA will be putting the funds provided from this grant towards their summer fine arts camp, “The Project.” The Project serves as a Summer Arts Pathway Project, giving local high school students an in-depth experience in the world of visual and performing arts. The intensive two-week experience helps shape and bolster the students’ natural talents in many areas of the Arts while bringing Athens State University and Calhoun Community College faculty in the Visual and Performing Arts together as one collaborative faculty for the duration of the program. Grant funds will provide materials, supplies, and stipends for faculty, visiting artists, and current Calhoun and Athens State students who coordinate the camp experience and serve as mentors to students. The camp will be available to students at no cost.

The Project contributes directly to student success and career development in the Fine and Performing Arts, especially targeting students in regional high schools that have limited resources and access to opportunities in the Arts. The program provides an inspiring, creative, educational, and supportive avenue to allow young artists to showcase their talents while helping students gain awareness and knowledge of college and career opportunities in the Arts.

Dr. Stephen Spencer, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Athens State University, expressed his gratitude saying, “We cannot express how excited and appreciative we are to have this grant from 3M. It will assist us in opening up arts opportunities to deserving students via our summer project. We are grateful to 3M for their support.”

Dr. Philip Way, President of Athens State University, stated, “Athens State University seeks to benefit the community in myriad ways, including through the fine and performing arts. 3M also invests in our region to improve the quality of life. The generosity of 3M enables us to reach regional high school students, engage them in cultural experiences they would not otherwise have access to, and perhaps even help them find a compelling educational and career path. It’s a win-win-win for the students, the university, and 3M.”

The Project is open to sophomore, junior, and senior high school students across Northern Alabama. Participants are chosen through an application and review process. Upon completing the program, the participants will be eligible for four-year art scholarships at the Alabama Center for the Arts. If students choose to follow the Fine Arts Pathway Program at Calhoun and Athens State, they will have access to many career development opportunities such as classroom visits by professionals in their field, career workshops, and job shadowing.