National Arts and Humanities Council month celebrates art, diversity
By Susie Hovater Malone
Every October, organizations and communities across the country celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month. Hosted by the Americans for the Arts, the celebration evolved more than 30 years ago from National Arts Week, which was started by the National Endowment for the Arts and Americans for the Arts.
The National Arts and Humanities Month in October encourages everyone to appreciate art and explore the diverse cultures around us. It’s the largest celebration of arts and culture in the United States.
Artists, enthusiasts, performers and entertainers explore new dimensions of the arts and humanities surrounding them and incorporate art into their lives.
The four goals of National Arts and Humanities Month are:
- Create a national, state and local focus on the arts and humanities through the media.
- To encourage individuals, artists, humanities and other organizations nationwide and to provide an opportunity for federal, state and local business, as well as government and civic leaders to declare their support for the arts and humanities.
- To establish a vehicle for raising public awareness about the arts and humanities.
The National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities was created as an independent agency by the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965. The Foundation consists of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
The Alabama State Council on the Arts is the official state agency for the support and development of the arts in Alabama. The Council works to expand and preserve the state’s cultural resources by means of supporting nonprofit arts organizations, schools, colleges, units of local government and individual artists. Arts programs, assisted by Council grants, have a track record of enhancing community development, education, cultural tourism and overall quality of life in all regions of the state.
The Alabama State Council on the Arts grants are made possible by an annual appropriation from the Alabama Legislature and additional funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
More than 150 Alabama arts organizations and educational institutions are set to receive greater than $3.2 million in grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. The funding will support institutional operating costs and public programs in arts education, community arts, folk arts, literary arts, dance, music, theatre and visual art forms. These grants are in response to applications submitted to the Council on the Arts’ annual grant cycle and support projects that occur between Oct. 1, 2023, and Sept. 30, 2024.
Some recipients of these grants include All-State Choir Festival in New Market; Huntsville Arts and Broadway Theatre League; Athens State University Fiddlers Concert Series; many more in Birmingham, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, Mobile, etc.
The Franklin County Arts & Humanities Council received a grant for their annual production of The Roxy’s Christmas Spectacular that will be held Dec. 6-10.