Storytelling Center Receives Grant
Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, has announced that The Storytelling Arts Center of the Southeast has been approved for a grant of $10,000 to support "Roots 1: Celebrating Our Diversity through the Arts, Storytelling, Music and Visual Arts," a multicultural festival featuring Scot-Irish American, African-American, and Native American storytellers, musicians and artists including displays, performances and workshops at the Storytelling Arts Center in downtown historic Laurinburg.
The Storytelling Arts Center of the Southeast is one of 1,057 nonprofit organizations recommended for a grant as part of the federal agency's first round of fiscal year 2011 grants. In total, the Arts Endowment will distribute $26.68 million to support projects nationwide.
An independent agency of the federal government, the National Endowment for the Arts advances artistic excellence, creativity and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. >NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman said, "I continue to be impressed with the creative, innovative and excellent projects brought forward by arts organizations across the country. Our grantees are not only furthering their art forms but also enhancing their neighborhoods by making them more vibrant, livable and fun."
Upon hearing about the grant award, Brenda Gilbert, SACS board chair, said, "The Storytelling Arts Center board and staff are thrilled to receive a grant from this prestigious agency. >We already have marvelous celebrations from each of our major community groups - Pow Wows, a Kuumba Festival and our new Highland Games. > This grant will allow us to bring artists from each culture together in one venue. > We will celebrate and appreciate our individual uniqueness and our similarities. > Our goal is to learn from each other and grow closer in community."
"Roots 1" is planned for May. In preparation for submitting the grant, the Storytelling Arts Center consulted with several cultural and arts organizations to develop an exciting program that will highlight the cultural and ethnic roots of the community.
SACS will contract with several guest artists, for example, storytellers Hannah Harvey, Tyris Jones and Gwen Rainer; visual artists Gene Locklear and Bettie McNair; and musicians Jamie Laval, Vincent McDougall and Jonathan Ward, each representing the rich heritage of Scotland County.
Representative visual arts will be on display for two weeks at the Storytelling Arts Center. Storytelling and music performances will be offered Friday through Sunday, including day and evening events. Artists will also provide discussions about their art and how it promotes their cultural heritage. The concerts will be scheduled to highlight all the cultural traditions to ensure that audiences have the opportunity to experience the diversity of all cultures.
Several organizations have offered to assist with the project, and volunteers are sought to make the project successful. The project was conceived in order to enhance an appreciation of the arts and culture in the community; to strengthen pride and understanding in the cultural and ethnic diversity of the community and region; to increase the opportunity to participate in arts activities offered in the community; to create an annual multicultural arts events celebrating our diversity; and to be a stimulus for tourism and economic growth.
"This grant award is a testament to the whole community," said Jan Schmidt, executive director. Seventeen organizations wrote letters of support and recommended the visual and performing artists. Writing the grant was only step one. We now need to enlist volunteers and additional resources to create this community building event."
More like this story