In a continuing effort to develop local artists and integrate arts into the community, the Arts Council of Hillsborough County is offering seven grants of up to $2,000 each to individual artists.
"The arts are what give us a quality of life,'' says Teri Simons, director of program services for the Arts Council of Hillsborough County
. "They bring us together as individuals. Creativity of a community is a pretty good measure of the quality of the community.''
Since 1989, the Council has awarded $600,000 in grants to individual artists through this program. Last year's winners included Erin Cardinal Wright, who choreographed and directed a dance film called "The Enormity of Two,'' which explores the common threads that bring two people together.
"The goal is to enable the artists to pursue a project that will help them take their career to the next level,'' says Simons. "That might be through education, a specific medium or technique, or maybe equipment.''
The council is also looking for ways people can bring the arts back into the local community to benefit the citizens. For example, last year's grant winner Crystal Haralambou used the funding for education and support of Shakespeare Behind Bars, a nonprofit program that uses theater to help juvenile justice offenders develop life skills and successfully reintegrate back into society.
Funds for this year's grants are provided by the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and the Council's FIVE by FIVE art event.
The Council also funds a grant program for arts groups and cultural organizations, which typically opens in August.
Requirements and an application for the individual artist grants can be found on the Arts Council website
. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, January 18, 2013.
Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Teri Simons, Hillsborough Arts Council