Katie Alice Walker
July 16, 2014
Arts-based Community Development Investment in Columbia Nickelodeon one of 66 National Endowment for the Arts Our Town projects selected nationwide
(Columbia, S.C.)–National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu announced plans to award 66 Our Town grants totaling $5.073 million and reaching 38 states in the Our Town program’s fourth year of funding. The Nickelodeon Theatre is one of those recommended organizations and will receive $50,000 for 2015’s Indie Grits Festival.
This year’s Our Town projects demonstrate again that excellent art is as fundamental to a community’s success as land-use, transportation, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety, helping build stronger communities that are diverse in geography and character. Our Town funds arts -based community development projects in a way that is authentic, equitable, and augments existing local assets. Since Our Town’s inception in 2011 and including these projects, the NEA will have awarded 256 Our Town grants totaling more than $21 million in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Indie Grits Film Festival will use the Our Town grant to support public programming during the festival, including special events in the works that will aid in community development and creative placemaking.
“The Nick and Indie Grits demonstrate the best in creative community development and whose work will have a valuable impact on its community,” said Chairman Chu. “Through Our Town funding, arts organizations continue to spark vitality that support neighborhoods and public spaces, enhancing a sense of place for residents and visitors alike.”
“We’re proud that the NEA recognized Indie Grits with this grant,” said Andy Smith, executive director of the Nickelodeon Theatre and co-director of Indie Grits Film Festival. “We aim to highlight the best in independent and experimental film coming out of the Southeast, but also to engage our community and bring the public to Main Street and downtown Columbia through Columbia’s more unique arts and cultural opportunities as part of the festival. The application for this grant required a recommendation from our city’s leaders, and as always, we are grateful for the City of Columbia’s efforts and support that help make Indie Grits a success year after year.”
“It’s a sign that the investment the City of Columbia has made in Indie Grits is putting this Main Street festival on the national map. We are excited to continue to work together to shape the future of our city with the Nickelodeon Theatre,” said Mayor Steve Benjamin.
The NEA received 275 applications for Our Town this year. Recommended grant amounts ranged from $25,000 to $200,000.
For a complete listing of projects recommended for Our Town grant support, please visit the NEA web site at arts.gov. Project descriptions, grants listed by state and by project type, and resources are available as well.
The Twitter hashtag is #NEAOurTown14.