July/August Member Spotlight: South Arts

July 2022 Member Spotlight: South Arts

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, South Arts is a nonprofit regional arts organization empowering artists, organizations, and communities, and increasing access to arts and culture. In partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the State Arts Agencies of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee — with additional funding from other public and private donors such as the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation — South Arts supports artists and organizations through a rich and responsive portfolio of grants, fellowships, and programs.

South Arts believes in the power of the arts crossing borders. Their region birthed jazz, cultivated the traditional arts of Appalachia, and is home to some of today’s most innovative, boundary-pushing artists. Past, present, and future, the arts of their region drive the country forward. South Arts supports and celebrates the artistry of their region with grants and fellowships for artists, communities, and organizations. From the most rural and isolated towns to our largest urban cities, communities thrive with access to art. They support organizations that present and engage touring Southern artists for performances, readings, exhibits, and residencies. South Arts values partnerships between artists and organizations that cross sectors, impacting areas of life including healthcare, aging, and education.

On July 6, 2022, South Arts announced 17 organizations selected as Southern Cultural Treasures, a $6,000,000, multi-year initiative supporting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) -led and -serving arts and cultural organizations throughout the Southeast. With lead support from the Ford Foundation and modeled after their “America’s Cultural Treasures”, this program aims to acknowledge and honor the diversity of artistic expression and excellence in America and provide critical funding to organizations that have made a significant impact on their communities’ cultural landscapes. Under the leadership of South Arts’ Vice President of Programs, Joy Young, PhD, the program runs through March 2025 and provides each organization with up to $300,000 of general operating grants, an additional project grant of up to $7,500, customized consultant services, networking, cohort building, and knowledge sharing. Southern Cultural Treasures is designed to be a measure of sustainable support. By providing BIPOC-led and -serving organizations with tools and frameworks to establish their own agency and institutional narratives, the initiative encourages growth throughout the South—not only in the context of the arts, but also in the impact of surrounding communities as well. The 17 Southern Cultural Treasures are: Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame (Birmingham, AL), Art2Action (Tampa, FL), Ashé Cultural Arts Center (New Orleans, LA), Asia Institute – Crane House (Louisville, KY), B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center (Indianola, MS), Ballethnic Dance Company (East Point, GA), Catawba Nation Cultural Division (Rock Hill, SC), Collage Dance Collective (Memphis, TN), Colour of Music Festival (Charleston, SC), Deep Center (Savannah, GA), Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (Miami, FL), JazzArts Charlotte (Charlotte, NC), Junebug Productions (New Orleans, LA), Mississippi Center for Cultural Production (Utica, MS), Otis Redding Foundation (Macon, GA), Teatro Avante (Miami, FL), and True Colors Theatre Company (Atlanta, GA).

You can also visit the South Arts photo gallery on GIA’s Photo Credits page.

Photo by Mariana Sheppard / Junebug Productions.