Montgomery, Ala. (EETV) - The Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) awarded 137 grants totaling $504,245 at its Council meeting in Montgomery on December 10, 2017. This round of grants will support arts in education, folk art, community, literature, performing, and visual arts programs January 1, 2018 – September 30, 2018. Also included in this round of awards are 17 Folklife apprenticeship grants.

The Council makes grants to non-profit organizations, schools, universities, cities, and a wide range of community groups. ASCA funds are matched by contributions from businesses, individuals, local government and earned income by the grantee. Arts programs, assisted by Council grants, have a track record of enhancing community development, education, cultural tourism and overall quality of life in virtually all regions of the state.

These recent grants are in response to applications submitted under the September 1, 2017 deadline and represent the third round of grants awarded in the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The 15-member board is appointed by the Governor to help promote the arts statewide. A primary responsibility of the Council is to make decisions about grants awarded to support art programs and arts education throughout the state. Board members are selected from all regions of the state in order to strive for a geographic spread representing all areas of the state.

Dora James, Chairman of the Council emphasized, “Our state is fortunate to have so many programs that support and enhance education for students and improve the quality of life for all citizens. A vibrant arts environment helps to draw new industry and investment to Alabama.”

The next deadline for the submission of grant applications is March 1, 2018 for Fellowships, and Art & Cultural Facilities Grants, covering activities taking place between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019.

The agenda of the December meeting, in addition to the awarding of grants also included the announcement of three new appointments to the Council by Governor Kay Ivey for six year terms beginning January 1, 2018. These new appointments are John C. Coleman of Dothan; Warren Duncan of Tuskegee; and Lynne Berry Vallely of Huntsville. In another action by the Governor, former Council member Lisa Blach Weil of Montgomery was reappointed to fill the remaining two year term of William Sellers resigning to assume a Governor’s appointment to the Alabama Supreme Court.

Commenting on Council appointments, Al Head, Executive Director of the Council said, “These three newly appointed Council members bring outstanding backgrounds of service to the arts and their level of expertise and leadership will contribute significantly to the mission of the Council. The newly appointed members represent awareness of the arts from diverse geographic regions of the state and a track record of support for enhancing the quality of life in Alabama,” Head emphasized.

John C. Coleman, Dothan is executive vice-president and general counsel for Coleman World Group, LLC, a transportation company with 250 million in annual revenue and operating in nineteen U.S. States and one U.S. Territory. Mr. Coleman manages all regulatory, compliance and legal issues for the company. Mr. Coleman is a past board member of Southeast Alabama Community Theatre and is an active participant in its productions. He has also been a financial partner of education programs at the Wiregrass Museum of Art.

Warren Duncan, Tuskegee is the MVAChair, and Head of Fine & Performing Arts at Tuskegee University. Mr. Duncan has been at Tuskegee since 1972, and served as Director of Bands from 1976 to 2015. Mr. Duncan is a member of several fraternal and music oriented organizations including Kappa Kappa Psi, Alpha Phi Alpha and Alpha Phi Omega. Under his direction, the band has won several awards and recognition for their excellence in performance, timing and presentation.

Lynne Berry Vallely, Huntsville is the former Director for Advancement at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville. Prior to HudsonAlpha, Berry was the founding executive director of the Community Foundation of Huntsville/Madison County. She has service experience on a number of important boards, including Leadership Alabama, the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, the Alabama Humanities Foundation, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the Blackburn Institute at the University of Alabama, and the Bryant-Jordan Scholarship Program.

The Council elected a new slate of officers for two-year terms through 2019. Joel T. Daves IV of Mobile, as Chairman; Jim Harrison III of Tuscaloosa as Vice-Chair and Dr. Henry Panion of Birmingham, as Secretary of the Council.

Rebecca T. B. Quinn of Huntsville and Elaine Johnson of Dothan rotated off the Council board after twenty-years of distinguished service. Both served in numerous capacities while on the board. Ms. Quinn served as Chairman from 2006-2007.

Final action at the December meeting was the presentation of a token of appreciation to Dora James as she completes her 2-year term as Council Chairman. Mr. Head, making the special presentation to Mrs. James commented, “Dora represents a dedication to supporting the arts and her state with honor and distinction. She deserves a place in the Council’s Hall of Fame because her contributions are significant and long-lasting.”

Locally, the City of Auburn and the Arts Association of East Alabama both received grants.