Georgia organizations receive generous 2023 NEA funding, strengthening arts

The Atlanta Film Festival is among the recipients of NEA grants this year.

The Atlanta Film Festival is among the recipients of NEA grants this year.

This story was originally published by ArtsATL.

Twenty-nine Georgia nonprofit organizations have received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for fiscal year 2023, including several in Atlanta. More than $34 million has been funded nationwide, with $500,000 throughout the state. The money to organizations comes via the NEA’s Grants for Arts Projects (the agency’s largest grant program), through Challenge America and Research Awards categories. Funds are also available to individuals for literature fellowships in creative writing and translation.

“Together, these grants show the NEA’s support nationwide for strengthening our arts and cultural ecosystems, providing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, and contributing to the health of our communities and our economy,” said NEA Chair Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson in a prepared statement. “I encourage everyone to explore these projects and the ways they help provide inspiration, understanding, and opportunities for us to live more artful lives.”

Those receiving grants in Atlanta include organizations who have received NEA funding before and those who have not.

Dance Canvas is among this year's recipients of NEA grants.
Courtesy of Dance Canvas, Photo by Richard Calmes.

Credit: Richard Calmes

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Credit: Richard Calmes

Dance Canvas is a first-time NEA recipient this year. Now in its 15th season, Dance Canvas was formed as a resource for emerging professional choreographers. Its mission is to provide opportunities and venues to increase awareness of professional dance, with a focus on career development opportunities for professional choreographers and high-school and college-age students. Angela Harris, the company’s executive artistic director and founder, says this is the company’s first national-government funding. “I think it’s easier once you have your first one to have the credibility and visibility for others,” she says. Their $10,000 grant will support a Terminus Modern Ballet collaboration, using curriculum to support a cohort of three pre-professional Black ballerinas to address the disparity of diversity in the dance field and provide mentorship and future development.

Also receiving funding is Paint Love, which -- since 2014 -- has brought arts programming to serve children across the metro Atlanta area. Atlanta artist Julie Ann McKevitt founded Paint Love to serve youth in poverty or trauma who don’t have access to arts; schools that do not have the resources to provide creative endeavors; and all sorts of local artists -- including performing artists, digital artists, spoken-word poets, writers and painters -- who want to want to bring art residencies to students in all sorts of mediums. In addition to ongoing school residencies, Paint Love offers in-house programming, a studio classroom space, a summer camp and monthly family programming. Executive Director Laura Shaw says that the additional funding this year -- $10,000 -- will enhance their artist cohort. “Six artists this year will have all their supplies for their projects, and the grant will allow us to give these artists stipends,” she says. “This gives us a broader range for artists, and they will not be just volunteering their time.”

Peter Hardy, the founding artistic director of Essential Theatre, has been applying for an NEA grant for several years running before being recommended this year. “National support and recognition means the world to us,” he says, noting that Essential also received its first grant from the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund this season.

Essential Theatre began staging an acclaimed annual play festival in 1999, and, while Georgia work has always been included, the company decided in 2012 to make the festival Georgia-specific. Jennifer Kimball, the organization’s managing director, says the $10,00 grant will be used for this summer’s festival. “With COVID funding evaporating and expenses being as high if not higher than ever, [the grant] allows us to continue what we have done with the same quality,” she says. The company is hoping to enhance its programming, and one goal is to find a way to present more artists’ work during the play festival.

The Atlanta Film Society has been funded in the past and plans to use its $20,000 grant for its April Atlanta Film Festival. “For the past 46 years, we’ve celebrated the works of independent filmmakers in our state, our country and throughout the world. Thanks to this grant from the NEA, we will continue on our mission of launching film careers and supporting Georgia’s rapidly growing film industry,” says Christopher Escobar, executive director of Atlanta Film Society in a prepared statement.

A list of NEA-funded Georgia organizations and individuals:

Agnes Scott College, $55,000, Decatur

Atlanta Ballet, Inc., $10,000, Atlanta

Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, $25,000, Atlanta

Atlanta Chinese Dance Company, $10,000, Peachtree Corners

Atlanta Jewish Film Society Inc. (aka Atlanta Jewish Film Festival), $20,000, Marietta

Atlanta Opera, $20,000, Atlanta

Augusta Mini Theatre Inc., $10,000, Augusta

Canopy Studio Inc., $10,000, Athens

Dance Canvas Inc., $10,000, Atlanta

Dashboard Co-op Inc. (aka Dashboard US), $20,000, Atlanta

Essential Theatre Inc, $10,000, Atlanta

Fine Arts and Crafts Entrepreneurs Inc. (FAACE), $10,000, Peachtree City

Fly On a Wall Inc., $10,000, Atlanta

Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival Inc. (aka GMSF), $10,000, Blairsville

Georgia Tech Research Corporation, $50,000, Atlanta

Horizon Theatre Company, $20,000, Atlanta

Independent Media Artists of Georgia Inc. (aka Atlanta Film Society), $20,000, Atlanta

Aruni Kashyap, $10,000, Athens

Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta Inc., $20,000, Atlanta

Museum of Design Atlanta, Inc. (aka MODA), $30,000, Atlanta

Nutcracker of Middle Georgia Inc., $10,000, Macon

University of Georgia Research Foundation Inc., $10,000, Athens

Paint Love, Inc., $10,000, Decatur

Paradise Garden Foundation Inc., $10,000, Summerville

Robert W. Woodruff Arts Center Inc., $20,000, Atlanta

Reforming Arts Incorporated, $10,000, East Point

Savannah Music Festival Inc., $30,000, Savannah

Staibdance Inc., $10,000, Atlanta

Working Title Playwrights Inc., $10,000, Atlanta


Jim Farmer covers theater and film for ArtsATL. A graduate of the University of Georgia, he has written about the arts for 30-plus years. Jim is the festival director of Out on Film, Atlanta’s LGBTQ film festival. He lives in Avondale Estates with his husband, Craig, and dog, Douglas.

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Credit: ArtsATL

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Credit: ArtsATL


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