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Fund helps the arts flourish in Columbia County

Posted: March 27, 2012 - 11:00pm
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Dancers with Columbia County Ballet put on a special presentation during the sixth annual Art in the Park festival held behind the Columbia County Library in Evans in 2011.  File photo by Jenna Martin
File photo by Jenna Martin
Dancers with Columbia County Ballet put on a special presentation during the sixth annual Art in the Park festival held behind the Columbia County Library in Evans in 2011.

A fund for assisting non-profit organizations aims to keep the arts community flourishing in Columbia County.

The Arts Development Fund, previously called the Arts Endowment Fund, got its start in 2006 when proceeds from a charity gala were donated to the fund, said county Recreation and Events Manager Stacie Adkins.

“The whole purpose of this fund is to get arts-related events into our facilities,” Adkins said.

Recent updates to the fund ensure that groups are not only non-profit, but also can receive no more than $1,000 per event to use toward expenses, which can include rental fees. Each organization can only apply once yearly, Adkins said.

In order for a group to receive assistance, the public also has to be invited, Adkins said.

Organizations must apply at least 60 days before the proposed event date. The county’s community events committee has the final say on approval of funding for an event.

Previously, language on the application form was not as clear as it needed to be, and that prompted a revision, Adkins said.

County Rental Facilities and Venues Manager Sandy Boner said the fund is designed to enhance and promote the arts within the county. Boner said they want to offer the public a greater assortment of events involving the arts.

The fund especially helps groups that are new or struggling, Adkins said.

In previous years, Columbia County Ballet has tapped into the fund for county performances, as has Columbia County Arts for its annual Arts in the Park festival.

The success of the fund is now linked to the Columbia County Charity Gala, which has been held each February since 2010.

“That’s one event to support,” Adkins said.

More than $20,000 was raised at this year’s Vegas-inspired gala and split between the Arts Development Fund, Columbia County Cares Food Pantry and Teen-age Years 101.

To inquire about the fund, call the Rental Facilities and Venues Department at (706) 868-3349.

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