The downtown Laurinburg-based Storytelling and Arts Center of the Southeast has been selected from 1,509 applicants to receive a $10,000 grant to support its ongoing programs.
Designated for “eclectic arts programming for a diverse community,” the grant was established by the National Endowment for the Arts. The “NEA Art Works Grant” was awarded specifically to support the center’s storytelling, music and dance programs.
“We were very excited when we got final notice. We work on a very marginal budget, particularly with these difficult economic times when it has been harder to find resources, so this was wonderful news,” said SACS Executive Director Jan Schmidt on Wednesday.
“This grant helps us to continue to be able to present our programs at a reasonable cost,” Schmidt said. “It has to be spent for our jazz concerts, for the Bold-Faced Liars’ Showdown and for The Storytelling Festival of Carolina.”
Each program sponsored by SACS is designed to attract visitors to the community and to be a catalyst for economic activity.
While Schmidt wrote the grant application, she said that the success was the product of a group effort that included members of the SACS program committee and others.
“The Storytelling and Arts Center is able to provide exceptional arts events only because of this and other grants and donations we receive, and because of volunteer support.”
The grant was awarded based on two factors, both of which Schmidt said that SACS was able to display in its grant application.
“There were two things that the grant looked at that were our strengths: Artistic excellence — that is very strong artistry from the people we invite to come here and present, and artistic merit — that is the need of the community to have art, or the difficulty that the community would have to attract art otherwise.
“Our community showed a need for the grant,” Schmidt said.
A jazz dancer will also be featured at a future event thanks to the increased flexibility afforded by the grant, according to Schmidt.
NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman announced Wednesday that SACS would receive the grant.
“These projects offer extraordinary examples of creativity in our country, including the creation of new work, innovative ways of engaging audiences, and exemplary education programs,” said Landesman of the grant’s recepients.
In March 2012, the NEA received 1,509 eligible applications for Art Works requesting more than $74 million in funding.
The NEA grants total $22.3 million, span 13 artistic disciplines and fields, and focus primarily on the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing works for the benefit of American audiences. Applications were reviewed by panels of outside experts convened by NEA staff and each project was judged on its artistic excellence and artistic merit.
For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support visit the NEA website at arts.gov.
Future jazz concerts supported by the grant will include the Sweet Dreams Jazz Cabaret on March 9 as well as Ray Codrington and Friends on May 11.
For information or to make reservations call 277-3599 between 9 a.m. and noon or check www.storyartscenter.org.