AthFest Receives $10,000 NEA Grant


Photo Credit: Austin Steele/file

AthFest Educates, the local arts-education nonprofit that stages the annual AthFest Music and Arts Festival, has received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to help fund this year’s festival.

The grant is part of $25 million the NEA has announced it will award in 2018, and falls into the organization’s Art Works category, which “supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts,” according to a press release.

“The NEA award demonstrates just how valuable, both culturally and economically, the festival is to the Athens region, and we are honored to be recognized,” says AthFest Educates Director Jill Helme, who has been open about AthFest’s financial struggles in the past. “The funds provided will enable the festival to make much-needed improvements on our overall production efforts and our marketing outreach.”

The NEA has likewise found itself facing an uncertain future. Last year, President Trump proposed eliminating government funding for the organization, but congressional appropriations committees gave it a small increase instead.

This year’s AthFest is slated for June 22–24 in downtown Athens. Musicians who are interested in performing at the festival can submit applications until Apr. 1.


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