TROY arts programs receive over $15K in grants

Programs in the College of Communication and Fine Arts and the International Arts Center received the grants.

Programs in the College of Communication and Fine Arts and the International Arts Center received the grants.

The Alabama State Council on the Arts awarded Troy University $15,800 in support for four arts programs in the College of Communication and Fine Arts and the International Arts Center.

Carrie Jaxon, IAC Director and Curator, was awarded $3,300 in support of the IAC’s Trojan Junior Warriors Children’s Art Program. The program, which began in 2017, has become a staple field-trip opportunity that seeks to offer students an immersive, multi-cultural experience, she said. 

“Our goal is to offer an immersive arts and multicultural experience for our young students,” Jaxon said. “We want to fuel our young community members’ interest in the arts and this program is the opportunity to open the door of our museum, and our university, to them. We want them to know we are their museum and we’re just down the street from their school and homes.” 

This is the third year in a row the art program has been supported by the ASCA.

“This valuable grant funding and in-kind gifting helps the program to be offered to Troy Elementary School completely free of charge, with expenses such as teacher substitutes, bus costs, lunch and snack costs to be completely covered by the IAC,” Jaxon said. 

Kyle Gassiott, Troy Public Radio Director, along with University Media Development Coordinator Michelle Mowery and Digital Media Producer/Podcast Project Manager Austin Toy, received $5,100 in support of the second season of the “Alabama Aloud” podcast.

“Alabama Aloud” features literature expert Dr. Don Noble reading the works of Alabama authors. The first season launched on June 13, 2023 and featured eight episodes. All of the authors were either born in Alabama, have lived in the state for a long period of time or have a “genuine Alabama connection.”

Visiting students carry a dragon prop during this year's Junior Warriors event.
Visiting students carry a dragon prop during this year’s Junior Warriors event.

“We are so glad to add the Alabama State Council on the Arts as partners in bringing ‘Alabama Aloud’ to our listeners,” Gassiott said. “Our first season was so exciting and well received that I can’t wait to start season two and resume our literary conversation. You’ll hear work from authors from our first season, as well as some new voices in the mix.”

Tori Lee Averett, Assistant Dean of the CCFA and Director of Summer Spotlight, received $1,700 for the annual intensive program. 

Coming up on its 15th year, Summer Spotlight is a week-long, residential camp held in July where participants immerse themselves in all aspects of theatre: dance, film, technology and on stage, on screen and behind-the-scenes work. These camps also provide participants with the opportunity to interact with peers, college faculty members and guest artists from throughout the country.

“Summer Spotlight offers each participant, from the youngest to the oldest, the chance to let loose, have some fun and become versed in all types of creative expression– onstage, backstage and everything else,” Averett said. 

In a partnership with Common Ground Troy, Dr. Kelly Berwager, Art & Design Lecturer, and Common Ground Executive Director Clint Free were awarded $5,700 for their Diversity Through Art initiative.

The Diversity Through Art program is a part of an eight-week summer art enrichment program at Common Ground Troy. The goal for the program is to learn about different artists from different ethnic backgrounds and about different types of art. Berwager’s art education students and adjunct faculty Karvarus Moore will help teach alongside Free.

“This will be the fourth summer of our art program and we are happy to be receiving a grant through Alabama State Council on the Arts via Troy University,” Free said. “The students that are enrolled in our programs are diverse in many ways such as ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic and their personalities. The arts give each student a way to express their creativity and build their self-esteem.”

The art program will begin weekly on June 10 and end Aug. 1. A public art show will be held on Aug. 1 at 6:30 p.m. to display the students’ art.

The mission of the Alabama State Council on the Arts is to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality for all Alabamians by providing support for the state’s diverse and rich artistic resources.