Blues and BBQ

The Alabama State Council on the Arts has awarded 137 grants totaling $2,290,710 to 113 grantees across the state, including $5,700 to support the 4th Annual Bernard Blues & BBQ Festival. Organizations providing public programs in arts education, folk arts, community arts, literary arts, dance, music, theatre, and visual art forms received support through this competitive process.

Support for arts programming is critical for a vibrant creative community, which results in a thriving arts economy, a workforce ready for innovation, and a high quality of life for all residents. However, the needs of the arts sector are greater than the Council has the ability to fund, with the requested amount in this grant cycle totaling $4.3 million, making Alabama State Council on the Arts grants highly selective and very competitive.

Festival Director Joyce Nix said, “I am thrilled that the Arts Council saw our vision for Bernard Blues and BBQ as an immersive juried arts experience that celebrates quality Alabama and southern artists and their work. I am also thankful for the Arts Council’s belief in what we do and their desire to see the festival thrive. Being awarded an Arts Council grant is a great honor and testament to our event, but also the professionalism of our application.”

St. Bernard Prep was the only organization from Cullman County to be awarded grant funding during this grant cycle.

Chaired by Jim Harrison, III, of Tuscaloosa, the Alabama State Council on the Arts is comprised of 15 Governor-appointed members. The staff that administer the grants program also provide technical assistance in arts planning and programming, under the leadership of Executive Director Elliot Knight, PhD.

Jim Harrison stated, “The Council is pleased to support educational groups, community organizations and arts institutions with these approved grants. Funds awarded through the Council's granting process provide a better education for students, nourishing imagination and preparing them for the workforce of tomorrow. These important grants also strengthen cultural expression and attract new industry to our colorful and vibrant state."

For more information about the Council, or grants that have been awarded, see arts.alabama.gov, or contact Barbara Reed, Public Information Officer at 334-242-5153. To learn more about Bernard Blues and BBQ, contact Festival Director Joyce Nix at 256-255-5860. This project has been made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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