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Ten local organizations were awarded a total of $13,515 in grant funds through the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Arts Build Communities program and locally managed by ArtsBuild. The projects include collaborative community events as well as support for arts workshops and performances. The goal of the ABC grant program is to support projects that broaden access to arts experiences, address community quality of life issues through the arts, or enhance the sustainability of asset-based cultural enterprises.

ABC is a grant program funded by the Tennessee General Assembly and administered by ArtsBuild in cooperation with the Tennessee Arts Commission. The grants offer financial support for arts projects in all arts disciplines such as dance, music, opera, musical theater, theater, visual arts, design arts, crafts, photography, media arts, literature, and folk arts.

"The ABC grants provide an opportunity for traditional arts organizations and other non-profit organizations to collaborate in ways they normally aren’t able to," says Rodney Van Valkenburg, Director of Grants and Initiatives at ArtsBuild. "The value of these grants is enormous to Chattanooga and Hamilton County. We’re delving deep into the community and reaching many underserved populations through the ABC grants."

"We are extremely grateful to the Tennessee General Assembly for providing the funds that allow us to administer this invaluable program through the Tennessee Arts Commission," said Van Valkenburg. "Since ABC awards are not restricted to arts organizations, this program allows ArtsBuild to bring the arts to a larger segment of the community."

The 2015 - 2016 ABC grant projects are:

Bessie Smith Cultural Center: Dance camps for inner-city youth held at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center will be promoted.

Chattanooga's Kids on the Block, Inc.: Chattanooga's Kids on the Block will host a free community event, Pinwheels for Prevention, in April 2016 in cooperation with the Creative Discovery Museum.

Mid-South Sculpture Alliance: Expanded programming will be developed through salary support for the Executive Director.

Music Therapy Gateway in Communications, Inc.: MTGIC will partner with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera (CSO) and the UTC Department of Music to present Dance of the Neural Tango, celebrating the art of music in therapy.

Performing Arts League: The Sunday Showcase, acelebration of local youth performing groups, will take place at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga in November.

Red Bank Elementary: A patriotic concert presented in partnership with Red Bank Elementary, Middle and High Schools will be held in November.

Siskin Children's Institute: A special sensory-sensitive performance will be held in partnership with the Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s Youth Theatre Program.

SPLASH: Visual art classes will be held for youth in the SPLASH studio, located in the former James A. Henry Elementary School in Chattanooga’s Eastside area, and will teach students entrepreneur skills.

University of Tennessee Chattanooga Music Department: River City Clarinet Winter Festival 2016 will be held in January for local clarinetists and the general public.

YMCA-YCAP: Visual arts workshops will be held through the YCAP program for area middle school students.

The ABC grant program is funded under an agreement with the State of Tennessee, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.