More than a dozen local schools and nonprofit organizations will have enhanced visual, performance and literary arts programs for 2018-19 thanks to $60,741 worth of grant awards from the Charles County Arts Alliance. Funds will be used to present a myriad of cultural programs and events in the county, as well as workshops, demonstrations, concerts, theatrical performances, international programs and literacy development.

“This was the largest and possibly the most creative applications for grants that we have received to date,” said grant committee chairman Robert Rausch, who is also vice president of the arts alliance.

The grants, which are awarded on an annual competitive basis following an application process and review by the Arts Alliance Grant Committee, were presented to 17 schools and 16 nonprofits on Saturday during the alliance’s annual grantee, membership and public gala held at the Old Waldorf School.

In addition, the alliance awarded $5,000 to the Charles County Board of Education to fund a project that requires bringing in clinicians and artists to work with middle and high school bands, orchestras and choirs in preparation for performance assessment concerts. This program was funded with great success in the previous school year, with the decision between the arts alliance and school board to continue the same opportunity for a second year, according to a press release.

The 17 arts in education grant recipients for 2018-19 include Archbishop Neale School, Arthur Middleton Elementary, Benjamin Stoddert Middle, Dr. Gustavus Brown Elementary, Dr. James Craik Elementary, Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary, Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary, Gale-Bailey Elementary, Grace Christian Academy, Grace Lutheran Church and School, Henry E. Lackey High, J.C. Parks Elementary, Malcolm Elementary, Mary H. Matula Elementary, Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary, St. Charles Children’s Learning Center and Westlake High School.

Among the 16 community arts development grant recipients are the Charles County Department of Community Services, Aging and Human Services; Charles County Freedom Landing; Charles County Public Library; Charles County Youth Orchestra; Chesapeake Choral Arts Society; College of Southern Maryland; College of Southern Maryland Foundation; Friends of Chapman State Park; Korean American Cultural Arts Foundation; Life Journeys Writers Guild; Mattawoman Creek Art Center; Music Teachers Association of Charles County; Nanjemoy Community Center; Port Tobacco Players; Southern Maryland Carousel Group and Steam Onward.

According to former arts alliance president Diane Rausch, the arts grant program has been the focal point of the Charles County Arts Alliance since the volunteer nonprofit organization was founded in 1987. The purpose of the program is to enhance the quality of cultural life for the citizens of Charles County, and help make it a more vibrant, exciting and diverse place to live.

“You have blessed and enabled the [Life Journeys Writers Guild] to inform and inspire others,” founder Yvonne Medley said.

For more information on the Charles County Arts Alliance, call 301-392-5900 or go to www.charlescountyarts.org.

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