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Posted: Thursday, September 12th 2013 at 8:40am

Toccoa, Fannin Co. receive state arts, tourism grants; Gainesville included on planned 'arts tour'

By The Associated Press
EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT
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Left to Right: Amanda McClure (QVAC Executive Director), Amanda Griffin (Riverside Military Academy, QVAC President), Regina Mansfield (City of Gainesville Main Street Manager), First Lady Sandra Deal, Governor Nathan Deal, Gladys Wyant (Arts Council Executive Director, Board Member Georgia Council for the Arts), Catiel Felts (City of Gainesville Communications and Tourism Director) and Deb Gregson (City of Gainesville Tourism Manager).
ATLANTA (AP) -- The state Department of Economic Development has awarded more than $178,000 in grants to 13 cities, counties and agencies for use in promoting fine arts and tourism throughout the state - including Toccoa and Fannin County. In addition, nine Georgia communities, including Gainesville, have been selected to host the state’s first traveling art exhibit.

Gov. Nathan Deal said Wednesday the Georgia Council for the Arts is distributing the grants as part of the state's Tourism Product Development Agreement program. The program was designed to promote work being done in local communities to boost tourism and fine arts.

Recipients of the 2014 Tourism Product Development recipients include:

Augusta Canal Authority
City of Colquitt
City of Madison
City of Toccoa
Downtown Development Authority of the City of Atlanta
Dublin Downtown Development Authority
City of Dublin
Fannin County
Fulton County Arts Council
Georgia International and Maritime Trade Center Authority
Atlanta Development Authority
Whitfield County
Zebulon Downtown Development Authority

The Tourism Product Development Agreement program was designed to financially support tourism development activities that sustain and create jobs at the local level, and to support Georgia’s creative economies with an emphasis on local artists and the nonprofit arts industry. The Georgia Department of Economic Development received 81 applications for the 2014 Tourism Product Development grant program, amounting to more than $1 million in requests.

ARTS TOUR

Meanwhile, Gov. Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal announced that nine Georgia communities - including Gainesville - have been selected to host the state’s first traveling art exhibit.

Featuring 28 pieces from Georgia’s state art collection, the exhibit is sponsored by the Georgia Council for the Arts in partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism Division and the Georgia Humanities Council.

“The traveling exhibit is an opportunity to use the state art collection as a springboard for additional arts and culture activities that serve to celebrate and increase awareness for the local cultural community and to increase tourism,” said Deal. “Sandra and I hope that this collection will inspire visitors and local citizens to learn more about Georgia’s artistic heritage and current artists, and to Explore Georgia.”

The state art collection, owned and managed by the Georgia Council for the Arts, is an extensive, vibrant chronicle of work created by Georgia artists from the 1970s to the 1990s. The new exhibit, “Inspired Georgia: 28 Works from Georgia’s State Art Collection,” is the first of its kind in decades, and highlights the diversity of styles, media and techniques in the collection. Original works from some of Georgia’s iconic artists including Benny Andrews, Lucinda Bunnen, Herbert Creecy, Howard Finster, Ruth Laxson and Nellie Mae Rowe are featured in the exhibit.

Over the next 14 months, the following Georgia communities will host the exhibit for six to eight weeks:

• Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville
• Monroe Arts Guild in Monroe
• The Currahee Artists Guild
• Paradise Gardens in Summerville
• Dogwood City Art Gallery in Tallapoosa
• Arts Clayton in Jonesboro
• Dublin Laurens Arts Council in Dublin
• Georgia Museum of Agriculture Art Gallery in Tifton
• Camden County High School, Fine Arts Academy in Kingsland

State officials say these nine communities were selected through a competitive application process, which focused on strong local collaboration between a downtown development authority and a local arts entity. The Georgia Council for the Arts, the Georgia Tourism Division and the Georgia Humanities Council will offer additional arts programming to each community participating in the project through collaborations with the Georgia Museum of Art, Living Walls and gloATL.

(AccessNorthGa.com's Ken Stanford contributed to this story.)

Associated Categories: Business News, Local/State News, Politics

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