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Arts Community May Get Boost from City

Johns Creek is accepting proposals for $30,000 in arts grants.

The arts community has the opportunity to get a financial boost from the city. The Johns Creek City Council has designated $30,000 for the fiscal year 2011 budget to be set aside for grant funding to not-for-profits for advancing arts in the community.

The intent of the grant is to encourage Johns Creek residents to participate in arts programs in the city while supporting the growth of other programs. John Kachmar, city manager, said the money would go toward arts-affiliated programs and that there is some latitude with the type of uses for the money.

For example, if a not-for-profit wants to offer art instruction to homebound seniors in Johns Creek or if it needs to pay for a kiln for the arts center, it could apply for funding by showing there is a substantial benefit to Johns Creek residents.

Patty Hansen, chief of staff for the city, said the grants funding is the city council’s way of showing support for arts organizations in Johns Creek.

However, there are a few requirements for prospective applicants.  First, the grant applicant must be based in the city of Johns Creek, serving Johns Creek citizens, and must have a federal 501(3) status for a minimum of three years.  

Hansen said the arts organization must serve a minimum of 80 percent of Johns Creek residents if funding is for a specific project. She said if funding is of an overall nature, it must show substantial evidence it will improve the level of service or product that is beneficial to the citizens of Johns Creek.

The grant has a cap of $15,000 per award, with no minimum request amount. The city is under no obligation to award these grants. The projected payout will be two-thirds upon acceptance of agreement and one-third upon acceptance of final report.  

Karen Richardson, Post 3 City Council member and chair of the Music in the Parks Committee, said she volunteered to take the lead on the committee because cultural arts are critical to Johns Creek in building communities. She said arts funding cannot be subjected to the political whims of any city and the city council wanted to raise awareness that arts programs exist. She also added that arts programs not only build a sense of place, but are economic drivers. Building a city is so much more than having a fire and police department in place. A vibrant, thriving cultural arts program is integral in creating a sense of belonging and common identity for residents, as well as providing family-friendly activities for all ages. 

The recommended review committee is comprised of Monte Vavra, director of finance; Scott Hastey, assistant city attorney; Kirk Franz, Recreation and Parks manager; Bethany Lavigno, community development; and Patty Hansen, chief of staff.

All applications will be reviewed and scored by the review committee. The deadline for initial application requests is July 29. Recommendations to the city council will be made in late summer.

Proposals can be sent to the City Clerk, 12000 Findley Road, Suite 400, Johns Creek, 30097. Applications may also be submitted via email to grants@johnscreekga.gov. You may find more information on the application process and required documents at www.johnscreekga.gov.

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