The Athens Cultural Affairs Commission announced today the winners of the 2017 Arts in Community Grant competition. The Athens Choral Society and Wild Rumpus Parade & Spectacle will each receive a $1500 grant.

Submissions for this year’s grants cycle included proposals for public art works, as well as musical and visual performances. “This year we received a very competitive group of applications, representing diverse groups and projects in the Athens area,” said Athens Cultural Affairs Commission member Jan Hebbard. “We look forward to more opportunities to award assistance to public art initiatives in future grant cycles.”

This is the fourth year Arts in Community Grants have been offered by the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission, an appointed body of the Athens-Clarke County municipal government which strives to foster the development and enjoyment of performing, visual, cultural and other arts in the Athens community.

The Athens Choral Society has been presenting free concerts to the community since 1971. As the oldest non-audition chorus in the area, they engage a unique blend of ages and backgrounds in choral experiences. Current membership includes singers from several counties who come together weekly to rehearse in preparation for three concerts each year (hosted in the Spring, Summer, and Fall). This group requested funds to assist in the creation of a fourth annual performance, which will be offered free of charge to the community in December 2017. Grant funds will allow the group to subsidize the costs of this new event; to consider adding newer compositions to the performance; to involve a larger orchestra; and to reach out to a larger audience. 

Now in its ninth year, the annual Wild Rumpus Parade attracts not only Athenians but also Halloween fans from neighboring cities and states. Thousands of families take part, many in highly creative, homemade costumes. Since 2013, the parade has culminated in a “Spectacle” event where participants and spectators are invited to be part of a creative, interactive environment of light and sound. In past years, that environment has included live music and DJ’s; high-powered stage lighting projected onto adjacent buildings; video projection and mapping; interactive video; aerialists on trapeze and more. Grant funds will allow for the continued growth of the Spectacle environment by incorporating new proposed elements and performers, and will enable organizers to compensate more of the artists who currently contribute to the event as volunteers.

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