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Arts Clayton offering grant-writing workshops

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

Arts Clayton wants to help anyone interested in securing Grassroots Arts Program grants learn how to do just that.

The Georgia Council for the Arts is accepting applications for the grants until Oct. 5. Grassroots Arts Program (GAP) grants provide groups with the funds necessary to create new, innovative arts programs.

During the month of September, Arts Clayton will offer free grant-writing workshops to ensure local arts groups are as competitive as possible in the application process.

Arts Clayton's fiscal year 2010 grant workshops will take place on Sept. 9 at 5:30 p.m.; Sept. 15 at 10 a.m., and 1:30 p.m.; Sept. 17 at 1:30 p.m.; Sept. 22 at 10 a.m.; and Sept. 26 at 10 a.m.

Since last year, the Arts Clayton gallery in Jonesboro has served as the local administrator of Grassroots Arts Program grants for a 10-county area encompassing Clayton, Fayette, Henry, Coweta, Spalding, Butts, Jasper, Lamar, Newton and Rockdale.

Arts Clayton Program and Event Coordinator Sara Cookson said the grant-writing workshops will help organizations new to grant writing learn how to make a compelling argument.

"There is general information [in the workshop] that they will be able to carry with them," Cookson said. "It teaches them how to figure out a budget for the proposed project they have. It's as simple as labeling the pages, because if those pages get separated, they might not know what that grant is.

"Specifically for the GAP, it tells what [projects are] granted, what is not, [and] how to write a narrative so it is presented clearly," she continued. "Hopefully, they will come away with, 'this is not so bad, I can do that.'"

The maximum any group can receive in a Grassroots Arts Program grant is $1,500, Cookson added.

Cookson said that in recent years, nonprofit organizations, schools, local governments, and artistic groups around the state have been able to use Grassroots Arts Program grants to fund new art programs. She said that last year, the City of Riverdale used a Grassroots Arts Program grant to help establish a local theater group and perform the play, "Zooman and the Sign," and the Atlanta Festival Ballet in Stockbridge used a grant to funds its "Dancing on the Square" program.

"[The grants are] used to fund smaller, emerging groups to help them get off the ground, but [are] also for established art programs that have new programs emerging or need to get to that next level of artistry," Cookson said. "Especially for rural and underserved counties, where arts programming isn't available ... it does exactly what it is supposed to do. A lot of these organizations may have been around for 10 or 15 years, but have never written a grant. It [the workshops] helps make the grant-application process a lot easier."

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On the net:

Arts Clayton:

www.artsclayton.org