The Athens Cultural Affairs Commission (ACAC) is proud to announce the winners of 2020’s Arts in Community Awards (formerly Arts in Community Grants): ATHICA, Canopy, Culinary Kitchen of Athens, Envision Athens and Nuçi’s Space. Each organization will receive $1,500.

ACAC chose these five Athens’ organizations because they have earned well-deserved reputations as vital players on Athens’ cultural scene. The Arts in Community Awards (AICA) financial support is crucial to these organizations’ survival during the pandemic. Many of them will be turning over a substantial portion of their award to artists directly.

For instance, upon hearing the news of their award, ATHICA responded as follows: “ We are thrilled, and can share with you that this support is especially crucial at this time.…the support will go directly to artists’ stipends.” Their Artists-In-ATHICA residency program fosters the development of four to five artists a year by providing “administrative support, studio, exhibition, and performance facilities, and a small stipend.” To learn more about this venerable Athens institution, see athica.org .

The Culinary Kitchen of Athens was “honored and humbled by this opportunity.” They will use the funds to support their Downtown Culinary Showcase , a weekly outdoor market that runs from mid-summer through October, bringing a unique economic opportunity to downtown Athens (it will restart only when it can be done safely again, of course). ACAC is proud to acknowledge the culinary arts as one of the mediums that contribute to Athens’ proud artistic reputation. For more, visit culinarykitchenathens.com

Envision Athens was “very excited and grateful to be receiving this support,” which they will use to support the creation of an Athens Artists Registry . The ACAC reviewers were excited at the prospect of Athens’ finally having an online hub to connect creators, arts consumers, arts organizations and venues, something numerous other cities’ art economies have profited from. By utilizing a LinkedIn -like interface, ACAC is confident that Envision

Athens’s registry will succeed. You can learn more about this unique Athens organization here: envisionathens.com

Mariah Caldwell, Nuçi’s Space ’s Development Associate, thanked the ACAC review panel, adding that they “are so happy to continue to offer our Live From Home shows, [which feature bi-weekly showcases of] a diverse array of Athens musicians, free to the public.” Live From Home streams live every-other Thursday at 7:00 pm (EST) on Facebook and includes interviews as well as performances. Interested readers may go to the Nuçi’s Space Facebook page to access past and future shows: https://www.facebook.com/nucisspace/video .

Athens’ own Canopy Studio, which, since its founding in 2001, has grown to be the premiere aerial arts center of the southeast, will use its AICA funding to produce an end-of-summer, socially distant, outdoors aerial performance on newly acquired land near the Chase Park warehouses. For more information and to sign-up for updates, visit canopystudio.org

The ACAC subcommittee that selected these five awardees from twenty-three submissions, found the majority to be very strong, especially given the necessity to reinvent public art experiences during this unprecedented period of social distancing. Fortunately for Athens, the ACC Mayor & Commission saw fit to dedicate $85,000 from the Resiliency Package to create a substantially larger 2020 AICA cycle. Together with $15,000 from ACAC’s budget, 50 awards of $2,000 each will be available to Athens’ creators. This additional funding round is called Arts in Community Awards: Resilience (AICA:R) , in honor of its unique source of support.

Applications for the AICA:R cycle are being accepted now through August 7, 2020.

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