The Clarkston Community Center Foundation, Inc. will receive a $50,000 Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town grant, Congressman Hank Johnson announced this week.
The grant will support space for artists and creative entrepreneurship programming through the Clarkston Art at the Center Incubator (CACI) in the refugee resettlement community in Clarkston, Ga., which is part of the Fourth Congressional District.
One in four Clarkston residents is a foreign-born refugee, and 43 percent of this foreign-born population lives in poverty.
“I can’t think of a more deserving community to receive this boost than Clarkston and the Community Center in particular,” said Johnson. “As a gathering place for art, education, recreation and community building, the Clarkston Community Center is a model for embracing diversity by celebrating the richness and strengths of so many different cultures.”
Clarkston Community Center (CCC)Executive Director McKenzie Wren said the grants will be put to good use.
“The CCC believes in the power of art to transform lives and communities,” Wren said. “We believe that offering more opportunities for artists to share skills, learn about the business of art and simply have space in which to do their work will help in the ongoing development in Clarkston.”
The CACI will provide studio and stage space to trained and amateur artists to develop and practice their art, work with other artists, and present their work. In partnership with the Start Clarkston Business Accelerator, CACI will offer chances for artists to participate in a competitive program consisting of 14 weeks of curriculum on business development, networking opportunities for low-interest loans, and receive a stipend to develop their arts based business. Local artists and arts groups will provide networking and mentorship for the artists.
Our Town is a competitive, matching grants program ranging from $25,000 to $200,000 for creative place-making projects that contribute toward the livability of communities and help transform them into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places with the arts at their core.