National Endowment for the Arts Chairman to Visit Georgia

Wednesday, 02 May 2012
Atlanta - Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, will visit Georgia for a two-day tour next week. The trip is the latest stop on the Chairman's Art Works national tour which serves to introduce Landesman to local communities. This is the first visit to the state by the current chief executive of the nation's key agency for arts funding. While in Georgia, Landesman will tour several arts organizations, meet with representatives of arts community and present the keynote address at the annual Georgia Arts Network conference.

Of particular interest during the Chairman's tour is Georgia's role in creative placemaking - the leveraging of the arts to create livable, sustainable communities that enhance the quality of life - and how it contributes to the economic strength of the state. Activities such as cross-sector collaboration and community partnership, which are hallmarks of creative placemaking, are abundant here. "With more than more than 12,000 arts related businesses that employ almost 200,000 people, Georgia is poised for growth in all areas of the creative sector," stated GCA director Karen Paty. "That foundation supports community development, stimulates tourism and attracts new businesses - all resulting in jobs for Georgians. We are thrilled that while here, Chairman Landesman will have the opportunity to interact with a sampling of the artists and arts organizations who lead our state's growth."

The Chairman will begin his Georgia Art Works tour in Macon on May 8 to present the keynote address at the annual Georgia Arts Network conference, the theme of which is Investing in Georgia's Future. "Our attendees are eager to hear insight from the person who is considered to be the most knowledgeable arts administrator in the country," stated Wayne Jones, president of the Georgia Arts Network. "We are looking forward to hearing the Chairman's perspective on the link between the arts, employment and the economy during his presentation. His participation underscores the importance of organizations working together to support arts projects and programs that support Georgia's economy." The keynote address will begin at 12:45 p.m. at Macon's Grand Opera House and will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience. While in Macon, Landesman will also visit recipients of federal arts funding including the Macon Symphony Orchestra and the Tubman Museum.

Landesman will travel to Atlanta on May 9 to tour additional arts organizations including the campus of the Woodruff Arts Center. He will also meet with representatives of the arts industry and individual artists during a community forum co-hosted by Georgia Council for the Arts, the Fox Theatre Institute and Alternate ROOTS, an Atlanta-based regional arts service organization. "As a recipient of federal grant funding, Alternate ROOTS is able to demonstrate the positive effect of national awards on smaller organizations," stated Carlton Turner, Alternate ROOTS executive director. "The impact of the grants from the National Endowment for the Arts is enormous and creates meaningful validation for our offerings to the arts community." The forum, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled to take place at the Fox Theatre at 10:00 a.m. Advance registration via the Georgia Council for the Arts website is required to ensure adequate space.

Each year, the National Endowment for the Arts awards grant funding that supports six regional arts organizations and fifty-six state and jurisdictional arts agencies, including Georgia Council for the Arts. This fiscal year, approximately $450,000 in additional funding was awarded to more than two dozen Georgia-based arts organizations. Federal funding for the arts provides multiple levels of assistance and goes to support a variety of projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations, create works of art and engages the public while furthering lifelong learning of the arts in schools and communities.

Georgia Council for the Arts is a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development that provides support for nonprofit arts organizations throughout the state. Established in 1965 as the Georgia Commission on the Arts, its mission is to encourage excellence in the arts, support the arts many forms of expressions and make the arts available to all Georgians by providing funding, leadership, programming and other services. Funding for Georgia Council for the Arts is provided by appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly, the National Endowment for the Arts and other private and public sources.

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Contact Jhai James for more information at 404.962.4839 or jjames@gaarts.org.