GCA Newsletter / Spring 2019                                                                       View this email in your browser

              GCA Newsletter / Spring 2019             

South Arts’ Georgia Board members Sonya Halpern and Cathy Adams with South Arts’ Southern Prize Georgia Fellow Bo Bartlett and GCA Executive Director Karen Paty

Georgia Artist Bo Bartlett Recognized as Southern Prize State Fellow

Congratulations to Bo Bartlett who has been named the Georgia Fellow for the 2019 Southern Prize. The Southern Prize winners were honored at an event in Columbia, S.C. on April 15th.

The South Arts State Fellowships and Southern Prize acknowledge, support, and celebrate the highest quality artistic work being created in the American South. The program is open to individual artists living in the South Arts region: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. This program is open only to visual artists and will expand to other disciplines in the future.
Alejandro Campo, Georgia POL State Champion, Flowery Branch High School, Hall County, GA

Georgia Poetry Out Loud State Winner Places Third in National Finals

The Georgia Poetry Out Loud State Finals were hosted by the Atlanta History Center on Sunday, March 17, 2019. The winner was Alejandro Campo, a junior at Flowery Branch High School in Flowery Branch, Ga. He represented Georgia at the National Finals in Washington, D.C., April 29-May 1, 2019, where he placed third among all competitors. Alejandro will receive $5,000 for placing third in the National Finals. He is the fourth Georgia champ to finish in the top three in the National Finals over the past five years.

At the state level, the Poetry Out Loud champion receives $200 from the NEA and their school is presented with a $500 certificate for new books. The Poetry Out Loud state runner-up, Kamryn Jones, a junior at DeKalb School of the Arts in Avondale Estates, Ga., received $100 from the NEA, and $200 for new books for her school.

This is the 11th year that the Atlanta History Center has been selected by GCA to coordinate the state's Poetry Out Loud competition. Georgia's participation included:
  • 76 schools in 38 counties
  • Over 7,100 students
  • 431 teachers
Poetry Out Loud is a national program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation which encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization and recitation of the written word.
2019 Poet Laureate's Prize Winner,
Marylou Sutherland, and Finalists,
Aanika Eragam, Sarah Lao,
Jenna Keeler, and Rohini Bose

Georgia Poet Laureate's Prize Winner and Finalists Announced

Georgia’s Poet Laureate, Chelsea Rathburn, in collaboration with Georgia Council for the Arts, is pleased to announce the winner and finalists of the sixth annual Poet Laureate’s Prize.
The prize is awarded for an original poem written by a Georgia high school student. This annual program is designed to encourage students in grades 9 through 12 to write original poems and to engage in the unique art form of poetry. The winner and four finalists were selected by Georgia's Poet Laureate, Chelsea Rathburn. 
Meet the 2019 winner and finalists below.
Marylou Sutherland
“until i am”
12th grade
Hillgrove High School
Marietta, Ga.
Rohini Bose
12th grade
Lambert High School
Suwanee, Ga.

Aanika Eragam
“Coconut Promises”
9th grade
Milton High School
Alpharetta, Ga.
Jenna Keeler
“love letter to the girl I will be”
12th grade
Cass High School
White, Ga.
Sarah Lao
10th grade
The Westminster Schools
Atlanta, Ga.
Their poems will be available on Atlanta Magazine’s website later this month. In the meantime, you can read the poems by previous winners and finalists here.

All Georgia high school students are encouraged to participate in the Poet Laureate's Prize. Students interested in participating in next year’s program should check for details about the 2020 competition on the Georgia Council for the Arts website in the fall of 2019. The annual submission deadline is at the beginning of March. 
Student artwork and the State Art Collection at Elbert Memorial Hospital, Elberton, GA

GCA Exhibits State Art Collection at Rural Hospitals

Beginning this winter with Elbert Memorial Hospital, GCA inaugurated a new initiative hanging curated exhibits of Georgia’s State Art Collection in rural hospitals. The State Art Collection comprises hundreds of art pieces collected over nearly three decades by the Georgia Council for the Arts in the late twentieth century. The collection incorporates a diversity of media, including etchings and drawings, jewelry, mixed media, paintings, photographs, pottery, sculptures, textiles, and wooden bowls and toys. The works range from the abstract to the realistic, with the latter often depicting landscapes and people in Georgia and beyond. 

The story of the collection begins in the late 1960s, when Georgia Council for the Arts launched the Georgia Art Bus Program, sending a bus transformed into a traveling exhibition space to venues around the state. Though the Art Bus program ended decades ago, the intent to bring original works of art by Georgia artists to people throughout the state has endured.  

It is in this vein that we have placed works from the State Art Collection at Elbert Memorial Hospital and Washington County Regional Medical Center. Additional exhibits will be installed in three hospitals in South Georgia this coming fall. Hospitals engaged in this initiative are encouraged to use the exhibit as a means to gather and connect with the community and local arts organizations. In addition, GCA works with these institutions to envision and plan ongoing arts-in-healthcare projects to occur during the year of the State Art Collection loan. We hope that patients, hospital staff, and visitors might take a moment with these works of art, be introduced to some of the immense talent that our state has nurtured, and celebrate the role of the arts in health and wellness. 
Gainesville Theatre Alliance, Gainesville, GA

GCA FY19 Partner, Project, Arts Education, and Vibrant Communities Grant Timeline

Recipients of FY19 Partner, Project, Arts Education, and Vibrant Communities grants are in the middle of their funded programs and seasons. As a reminder, we have put together a brief timeline for CRRs, payments, and final reports.

Now-June 2019 - Partner, Project, and Arts Education grantees may submit CRR forms to request payment of the grant award up to 90%. Vibrant Communities grantees may submit CRR forms to request payment of the grant award up to 80%. Payment processing and delivery usually takes 4-6 weeks.

Now-July 2019 - Final reports and CRR forms for the final 10% of the grant award are due during these months. All final reports are due no later than 30 days after the end of the funded project. For Partner Grants, 30 days after the end of the funding period is July 31, 2019.

Also, GCA wants to remind all grantees to thank their state legislators for grant funds allocated for FY19. Without the commitment of the Governor and the General Assembly, these grants would not be possible.

If you have questions about grant contracts or payment processing, please contact Sanaa Furqan, Grants Administrative Coordinator, at or 404-962-4837.

Professional Development Opportunities

•  ArtsNow will host a Teaching Artist Training on June 20 at the Barrow County Center for Innovative Teaching in Winder, GA. Supported in part by GCA, the training will include sessions for experienced teaching artists, as well as for teaching artists who are newer to the field. Registration is free of charge and lunch will be included. Click the link above for more information and to register.

•  CEISMC at Georgia Tech will host a STEAM Leadership Conference on May 10-11, 2019, for STEAM decision makers – superintendents, curriculum coordinators, principals, academic coaches, and content specialists, as well as teacher leaders and artists. 

•  The Woodruff Arts Center has announced the dates for their sixth annual Educator Conference, which will take place on June 4-5, 2019. On June 4th, the program will focus on fine and performing arts instruction. On June 5th, the program will focus on Arts Integration and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Math). Participants will have the option to participate in one or both days. Save the date on your calendars and look for registration details in the coming months.

•  Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) will host the SCAD Educator Forum (SEF) in Savannah, June 23-28, 2019. Educators will have the opportunity to develop new skills through a variety of educational and recreational activities in the midst of a bustling art scene. Workshops are taught by SCAD faculty, graduate students and alumni, and are held in SCAD facilities. Visit the website for registration and additional details.

•  Produced by South Arts, the 2019 Performing Arts Exchange will be September 23-26, in Orlando, Florida. Join hundreds of fellow performing arts presenters, performers, agents, managers, and presenting and touring industry professionals for four days of networking, artist showcases, professional development, and time in the Marketplace. Registration opens May 15, 2019.
Chelsea Rathburn, Georgia's New Poet Laureate

Governor Kemp Appoints New Georgia Poet Laureate

Governor Brian P. Kemp recently announced he has selected Chelsea Rathburn as Georgia’s next Poet Laureate. Rathburn, a professor of English and creative writing at Young Harris College, succeeds Judson Mitcham as Poet Laureate.

“Chelsea Rathburn is an accomplished poet whose passion for literature will fuel her success as an ambassador for Georgia’s literary arts,” said Governor Kemp. “She has had a brilliant career as a poet, writer, scholar and professor and I’m confident that in her role as Poet Laureate she will serve as an ambassador for the arts in every community across Georgia.”

Rathburn joins a long line of distinguished poets who have served in the position, including David Bottoms, Bettie Mixon Sellers, John R. Lewis, Jr., Conrad Aiken, Agnes Bramblett, Oliver F. Reeves, Wightman Melton, Ernest Neal, and Frank Stanton.

“It’s thrilling and a bit bewildering to be named to this position and I’m honored to have a chance to advocate for poetry, literacy, and Georgia’s rich literary culture,” said Chelsea Rathburn. “Georgia has such a deep literary history, and I hope to highlight the ways that poetry, language, and stories can connect us and help us build stronger communities.”

Rathburn is the author of three poetry collections, A Raft of Grief (2013), The Shifting Line (2005), winner of the 2005 Richard Wilbur Award, and Still Life with Mother and Knife (2019). Her poems have been widely published in the nation’s top journals, including The Atlantic, Poetry, and New England Review, among others, while her prose has been published in the nation’s most esteemed journals, including Creative Nonfiction and Ploughshares. In 2009, she received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Born in Jacksonville and raised in Miami, Florida, Rathburn has deep roots in the state of Georgia, where her mother’s family has lived since the 1830s. Rathburn holds a B.A. from Florida State University and an M.F.A. from the University of Arkansas. Rathburn moved to Young Harris from Decatur, Ga., where she taught poetry workshops at Emory University and chaired the poetry track for the Decatur Book Festival. She lives in Young Harris, Ga., with her husband, the poet James Davis May, and their daughter.

“We are delighted to have Chelsea Rathburn join the distinguished ranks of Georgia’s Poets Laureate,” said Karen Paty, Executive Director of Georgia Council for the Arts. “Chelsea is the third woman in nearly one hundred years to hold this position and we are eager to not only introduce her work to all Georgians, but to support her as she cultivates and inspires young women and young men alike to explore the work of great Georgia poets and cultivate their own literary voices. I am confident that we will all grow deeper in our connection to the written word through her service.”

Alliance Theatre Institute, Atlanta, GA

GCA FY20 Partner, Project, and Arts Education Grant Cycle Update

The deadlines for Partner, Project, and Arts Education Program Grant applications recently passed, so this is the time of year when applicants are curious about when panels will meet and grant announcements will be made. To answer some of your questions in advance, we put together a timeline of the grant review and notification processes.

March-April - Completion check by GCA staff; panelists are confirmed, assigned, and trained by GCA staff; panelists receive application materials

April-May - Panelists review applications and submit preliminary scores

May-June - Panelists participate in panel meetings and submit final scores

June - Final scores are tabulated by GCA staff; grants are calculated based on application scores and available funding

July - GCA makes grant announcements and distributes contracts to grantees; Vibrant Communities grant guidelines will be available

August - Grantees return signed contracts and other required documents to GCA; Vibrant Communities grant application deadline is August 31

If you have questions about the grantmaking process, please contact Tina Lilly at or Allen Bell at

More Arts News, Opportunities, and Research

•  Congratulations to the 21 organizations and two writers from Georgia who will receive grants from National Endowment for the Arts, representing a combined $430,000. Georgia grantees are from Athens, Atlanta, Blairsville, Columbus, Dunwoody, Madison, Norcross, Palmetto, Savannah, and Summerville. Click the link to read the press release and to access a list of grantees by city and state.


•  Burnaway’s annual professional development intensive, Art Writing Incubator, will return in Summer 2019. Selected participants will strengthen their abilities as writers and develop professional practices for editorial environments. The application deadline is May 6. 

•  In partnership with Atlantic Records and Artist Partner Group (APG), School of Rock is launching a worldwide artist search called Center Stage. The program is open to vocalists 13-19 years old. Beginning this month, singers can submit a five-minute audition video in hopes of being one of 25 individuals selected for an artist showcase and recording session. The submission deadline is June 30, 2019.

South Arts is now accepting applications for Jazz Road Tours, which is designed for emerging and mid-career artists. Jazz Road Tours supports three- to six-site tours at an array of venue types, often in rural communities and other areas traditionally underserved by the genre. This artist-centric grant program—designed to support approximately 50 tours each year—is made possible with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Grant amounts generally range from $5,000 to $15,000. The goal of Jazz Road is to support jazz artists with grants that bring their work to a wide range of venues throughout the country, deepening public appreciation for this art form on a community level. Led by South Arts, Jazz Road was created in partnership with five other Regional Arts Organizations (RAOs) across the United States. The application deadline is August 1, 2019.
• The Fox Theatre Institute is accepting applications for their Preservation Grant Program. The goal of the program is to award funding for historic theatres in the state of Georgia. Grants will be awarded to projects designed to provide significant economic and cultural impact to the communities they serve. Grant award winners will also receive operations expertise and guidance through seminars, and strategic planning fostering professional development. The 2019/2020 FTI Grant cycle begins with two workshops. Presented in collaboration with GCA, the workshops will cover FTI grants, GCA grants, and general grant tips. The first workshop will be in Athens on June 5, 2019, and the second one at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta on June 27, 2019. All application materials for the new grant cycle will be available June 1, 2019, on the website and the deadline for all grant applications is a postmarked date deadline of August 15, 2019. Application materials will not be accepted electronically or after the postmarked date deadline.


•  The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts released a report with a stunning takeaway: that the arts contribute $763.6 billion to the US economy—4.2 percent of the GDP.

•  The press release from that same report, highlights that Georgia had the second fastest growing arts & culture industries among all states in the U.S. from 2014-2016, with a three-year growth rate of 11.1%.

•  Meanwhile, Richard Florida wrote an in-depth summary of the overall report.


•  A 2018 study from the University of Utah shows that music activates regions of the brain spared by Alzheimer's disease.

•  A recent article published by the National Institute on Aging reveals how participating in the arts creates paths to healthy aging. 


•  The Arts Education Partnership (AEP) recently published a new STEAM Infographic, highlighting how STEAM education is creative, experiential, inquiry-based, and interdisciplinary. In addition to the infographic, AEP published a new report, Policy Considerations for STEAM Education. The new report examines successful STEAM initiatives in states throughout the U.S., including Georgia, and features the recommendations of the Governor's Arts Learning Task Force, whose work was facilitated by GCA.

•  AEP also recently released a new resource documenting the multiple benefits of education in the visual arts - including critical thinking, creativity, student engagement, academic achievement, and enhancing the education experience of traditionally underserved students. 

•  A new research report demonstrates the benefits of arts field trips for K-12 student academics and social-emotional learning. Conducted by researchers from the University of Arkansas, the multi-year study examined the field trip experiences of Atlanta Public Schools students at the Woodruff Arts Center partners - Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and High Museum of Art.

•  A recent study from Florida International University (FIU) finds that ensemble music programs positively affect the character and competence of school-aged children.

•  Another new study, this one centered around Houston's Arts Access Initiative, demonstrates the positive impact of arts education on student writing, discipline, and compassion.

•  A study by the Brain & Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California concluded that a child's brain develops faster with exposure to music education.

•  Researchers at Johns Hopkins University also published a new study which shows that arts-integrated lessons help students with retention of science lessons.

•  A team of researchers based at George Mason University recently released a research report showing that middle school music and theater students get better grades. 


•  A new report was released from the National Governors Association (NGA) entitled Rural Prosperity Through the Arts and Creative Sector.

Richard Florida also wrote about The Rise of the Rural Creative Class in the last year.
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