The Charles County Arts Alliance (CCAA) awarded nearly $50,000 in grant funding to 26 local schools and non-profit organizations, the largest amount in the Alliance's 24-year history.
Grantees received their awards at the CCAA Annual Grantee & Membership Reception, held Saturday evening, November 19, at the historic Old Waldorf School in Waldorf.
CCAA President Diane Rausch, said, "This year was the most grant funding and the most organizations we have ever awarded in our history, and we were extremely honored to be in a position to do it. Our local arts organizations and schools are the main source of "quality of life" cultural programming for us here in Charles County, and without them, we would be much poorer. We are so pleased that the CCAA contributes in a fundamental, financial way to help enhance and enlarge the arts and cultural presence in our county."
Melissa Burdin, Choral Arts Director for grant recipient Grace Christian Academy, remarked, "What a blessing this grant has been to our growing arts program! Because of the grant, we now have kids interested in our show choir and it is busting at the seams. It was non-existent two years ago. Without the grant and the kindness of the CCAA, we would not be where we are today."
The Arts Alliance awards two types of grants. Artists in Education (AIE) Grants are designed to promote, strengthen, and enhance the arts and arts education in Charles County's elementary and secondary schools. Community Arts Development Grants (CAD) support and enhance arts organizations that are providing quality arts programs and services in the county, including theater, dance, music, visual arts, folk arts, children's events and more.
Artists in Education Grants were awarded to: Archbishop Neale School, Benjamin Stoddert Middle School, Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary School, Dr. James Craik Elementary School, Grace Christian Academy, Henry E. Lackey High School, Maurice J. McDonough High School, Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action Committee (Head Start), St. Mary's School Bryantown, and Thomas Stone High School.
Community Arts Development Grants were awarded to: Ballet Arts Academy at the Old Waldorf School; Black Leadership Council for Excellence; Charles County Government - Aging and Senior Centers; Charles County Freedom Landing; Charles County Public Library; Chesapeake Choral Arts Society,;Christ Church, Port Tobacco Parish; Christ Church, Durham Parish; College of Southern Maryland; Grace Brethren Church; Harambee Productions; Mattawoman Creek Art Center; Music Teachers Association of Charles County; Port Tobacco Players; and Southern Maryland Carousel Group.
Arts Alliance Grant Chairperson Elizabeth Redding, a newcomer to the CCAA Board of Directors, said, "It truly is a privilege to play a role in providing opportunities for the arts to grow in Charles County. It has been inspiring to meet the grantees, who are each so dedicated to creating environments and programs where creativity is encouraged, talent is nurtured, and souls are enriched!"
Grants are awarded through a competitive application process and reviewed by a CCAA grant panel comprised of CCAA board members and community representatives. In addition to Chairperson Redding, this year's panel included Rose Anne Haft, Kathleen Jenkins, Joseph Namyst, Revered James M. Powell, Sr., Robert Rausch, and Chris Zabriskie.
The awards are made possible by a state grant received by the Arts Alliance from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), whose mission is to encourage and invest in the advancement of the arts for the people of Maryland.