Art council awards grants
The Alabama States Art Council awarded seven grants to local arts programs, in and around Madison County, at their last council meeting held this month.
The grant recipients were a vast variety of arts programs in Madison County. Seven grants were awarded in the area including $3,850 to the Huntsville Youth Orchestra; to $1,000 to the Huntsville Community Chorus Association; $1,800 to Huntsville Literary Association; $2,625 for Independent Musical Productions; $4,750 to Junior League of Huntsville; $5,250 for Huntsville High School; and $2,625 to the Tennessee Valley Jazz Society.
These programs enrich the community and help keep the arts alive in Madison County. One of the recipients, the Tennessee Valley Jazz Society, was thrilled to receive the grant and thankful that they are able to apply and receive such grants for their small arts program.
The Tennessee Valley Jazz Society was introduced in 1998 as a supplemental program for students in area schools. The program added the value of the arts as well as incorporating the meaning and background behind jazz, including history and math concepts that go along with playing such music. So far, they have reached over 26,000 students and have hopes to reach many more.
Howard Bankhead, the Director at the Tennessee Valley Jazz Society, said, “Pop culture has more of an influence on our young people today. Our job is to supplement the arts program and replace sex and violence with sax’s and violins. It takes discipline, patience, perseverance and integrity to play an instrument. It is character for the soul.”
The program goes into local schools for a nominal fee and teaches the children about the art of jazz and playing an instrument. According to Bankhead, “We go into elementary schools all the way through high school. We play for the kids and once one child starts clapping, they all follow.”
This is the third year for The Alabama States Art Council to pass out these grants. To learn more about how to apply for 2012 grants, go to http://www.arts.state.al.us/.