ASU College Receives NEA’s $75,000 Our Town Grant
By Hazel Scott
The College of Visual and Performing Arts (COVPA) at Alabama State University has received a $75,000 Our Town - Design grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
ASU was one of eight NEA grant recipients in Alabama and one of 57 nationwide to be awarded the Our-Town Design grant.
Through the grant, titled “Arts2 Festival: Aligning Resources to Transform Communities through the Arts,” COVPA envisions a project that will combine the therapeutic aspects of creating and viewing arts with the socio-political goal of enacting change.
“The Arts can act as a meaningful catalyst to engage and empower individuals and communities to act around a social issue,” said Dr. Wendy Coleman, dean of COVPA.
COVPA will partner with the city of Montgomery to establish a three-day Arts festival that seeks to bring more attention to the issues of mental health awareness, crime prevention and social connection while shining a spotlight on the significant contributions that the arts can make to the well-being of individuals.
"We are so excited to have this opportunity. This is our first major NEA grant, and our proposal was accepted, I believe, because of the powerful positive impact the arts can have on mental health. We look forward to partnering with the city of Montgomery to make a real difference in the spirit of CommUniversity,” said Coleman.
Our Town is the NEA’s creative placemaking grants program. Through project-based funding, the program supports activities that integrate arts, culture, and design into local efforts that strengthen communities over the long term. Our Town projects engage a wide range of local stakeholders in efforts to advance local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes in communities. Competitive projects are responsive to unique local conditions, authentically engage communities, center on equity, advance artful lives, and lay the groundwork for long-term systems change. These projects have a required partnership component.