Congress returns to Washington this week to finish working on key federal appropriation bills, five of which have a specific impact on the arts, education, and specific arts programs for military service members and youth-at-risk, which we, at the Colquitt County Arts Center, know is vital to our community.

Specifically this year, the House approved substantial pro-arts funding increases in five different federal appropriations bills:

• Interior bill — with an increase of $12.5 million to both the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities

• Labor, Health, Education bill — with an increase of $6 million for arts education grant funds, and language addressing the need for a federal arts report card from schools

• Defense Department bill — includes language supporting creative arts therapies for service members

• Veterans Department bill — includes $5 million in funding and language supporting creative arts therapies for veterans

• Justice Department bill — supports arts-specific intervention strategies for juvenile justice programs

Your Colquitt County Arts Center has benefited greatly from financial assistance through federal and state programs. The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded $10,000 for performing arts programs in 2020. Currently, The Georgia Council on Development Disabilities is funding Open Studio, an $18,000 visual arts program that is free to the community and welcomes everyone interested in making art. In the past, the Georgia Council for the Arts awarded us thousands of dollars to bring art to children in our schools. National arts funding also goes to The Georgia Music Foundation and Fox Theatre Institute, both of whom, in the past, have awarded the Arts Center with grant funds. The Arts Center continues daily to search and apply for funding from many different sources. Your votes, your phone calls, your letters, and your advocacy make a difference in our funding, our arts programming, and in our community.

Please take two minutes to send a message to your senators to call on their support in matching several arts funding allocations that were already approved over the summer in the House of Representatives. To review the funding status details of these key appropriation bills as they stand today, please visit a handy federal funding chart at https://www.artsactionfund.org.

You can also help support Colquitt County Art Center in our arts advocacy efforts by getting involved in local politics, volunteering your time, becoming a patron, and advocating for arts to continue in our schools.  

For more information on how you can support the arts, come by our office at 401 Seventh Ave. S.W., Moultrie, GA 21768, give us a call at 229-985-1922, or visit us on the web at www.colquittcountyarts.org

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