True Colors Theatre, Ballethnic Dance get South Arts’ Southern Treasures grants

Ballethnic Dance Company and True Colors Theatre Company are among the 17 arts organizations to receive grants from a new $6 million South Arts initiative which funds organizations in the Southeast led by and designed to serve Black, Indigenous and people of color.

Both Atlanta organizations received $300,000. Other Georgia recipients are Deep Center, Inc. in Savannah and the Otis Redding Foundation in Macon.

South Arts announced this four-year initiative, Southern Cultural Treasures, in November 2021. Today the Atlanta-based nonprofit announced the initial cohort of 17 organizations that it is funding.

Credit: Courtesy of True Colors Theatre Company

Credit: Courtesy of True Colors Theatre Company

“We are thrilled to be a part of the inaugural cohort,” said Chandra Stephens-Albright, managing director at True Colors Theatre Company. “The grant will enable us to add artistic capacity to support our new play development work, and to implement technology that will enhance staff collaboration and data driven decision making. That this news comes on the eve of our 20th anniversary is especially exciting.”

Nena Gilreath, co-founder and co-artistic director of Ballethnic said: “This grant comes at a perfect time because it will help us build the infrastructure we have worked tirelessly to create, with limited resources, for 32 years. We want to build a thriving organization that in time we can pass on to the next generation.”

Credit: Photographer:Kris J. Roberts

Credit: Photographer:Kris J. Roberts

The 17 organizations represent South Arts’ nine-state region comprising Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The organizations were chosen for their vital impact on their communities and the ways in which they help define and preserve each region’s unique arts ecosystem.

“These groups push the boundaries of creative expression, anchor their local communities, and advance the arts in our region,” said Susie Surkamer, South Arts’ president and CEO in a press release. “Our hope is that this initiative, with the help of these organizations, will foster a more equitable art community throughout the Southeastern region.”

Southern Cultural Treasures is supported by the Ford Foundation, with additional support from Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, the Infusion Fund, a partnership between the City of Charlotte, Foundation For The Carolinas and generous donors to support the arts and cultural sector, and the Zeist Foundation.

The program complements the Ford Foundation’s America’s Cultural Treasures initiative, which aims to acknowledge and honor the diversity of artistic expression and excellence in America and provide funding to organizations that have made a significant impact.


Credit: ArtsATL

Credit: ArtsATL

MEET OUR PARTNER

ArtsATL (www.artsatl.org), is a nonprofit organization that plays a critical role in educating and informing audiences about metro Atlanta’s arts and culture. Founded in 2009, ArtsATL’s goal is to help build a sustainable arts community contributing to the economic and cultural health of the city.

If you have any questions about this partnership or others, please contact Senior Manager of Partnerships Nicole Williams at nicole.williams@ajc.com.