September 16, 2022, Columbus, Georgia — The Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus (YOGC) was awarded a grant by Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA), a strategic arm of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, as part of its initial disbursement of grants for fiscal year 2023. A total of 213 organizations were awarded 253 grants that provide more than $3.1 million in funding to arts organizations throughout the state. The Bridge Grant will provide operating support funding to 134 organizations, the Project Grant will help fund 59 arts projects, and the Arts Education Program Grant will be distributed to 60 organizations.

YOGC was awarded not one but two grants from GCA for the 22-23 season: a $6,000 Project Grant for the 2022 Summer String Camp and a $5,000 Arts Education Grant for the Whitewater Music Festival. YOGC has received the Project Grant for its Summer String Camp for almost 20 years. The Summer String Camp is the only local summer camp for string players in the region. The camp, held every June, focuses on non-classical genres of music and how to learn music by ear. It plays a vital role in helping local school-aged musicians access professional music education experiences during the summer. The Arts Education Grant will allow YOGC to continue to host the Whitewater Music Festival for both orchestra and band programs in the Muscogee County School District. Approaching the fifth year of this essential performance and education opportunity, the Whitewater Music Festival is an outreach program designed to support and serve local public school band and orchestra programs at no cost to the school system.

“A high-caliber committee of our peers from across the state of Georgia continue to rate YOGC’s programs as some of the best in the state and deserving of this generous funding. YOGC is honored to continue to be one of many local arts organizations that receive funding from GCA. We also extend our gratitude to the amazing work Columbus’ arts industry does to make us stand out as a continually-expanding city for the arts to flourish. YOGC is proud to have been providing indispensable and worthwhile music education experiences to our community’s children for approaching 30 years. We now look forward to presenting these opportunities for our young musicians this season with the generous unwavering support of the Georgia Council for the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts!” – Kellie Henry, Executive Director, YOGC.

“The arts sector has proven its resilience over the last two years, and it has played a major role in restarting the economy through attracting tourism, bringing communities back together, and aiding classroom learning as we inspire the workforce of the future,” said Georgia Council for the Arts Executive Director Tina Lilly. “The 253 grants we have awarded will help cities and organizations bring people more back to work while enhancing the qualities that make Georgia so special.”

Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) uses Peer Review Panels to judge and review applications following standard practices set by the National Endowment for the Arts. Panelists are GCA Council members and fellow professionals who are experienced in the arts discipline or type of grant being reviewed, or are citizens with a record of arts activities, experience, and knowledge. Grant recipients include theaters, dance companies, museums, cities, colleges, and multi-discipline arts entities.

Since 1993, the Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus has been teaching the area’s most talented young musicians. Led by nationally-awarded Music Director and Conductor Jim Palmer, YOGC maintains the only symphonic orchestral opportunity in the region for children; a string orchestra; a chamber group program; a non-adjudicated music festival provided at no cost to local public school music programs; and a week-long summer string camp focused on alternative genres of music and playing styles. For additional information e-mail info@yogc.org.

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