The Rome Area Council for the Arts has divvied up its grants to the Ginger Parade organization led by James Schroeder, the Rome Kiwanis Club for their Art and Music showcase, Georgia Highlands College speech competition and the Rome Middle School choir for their show Grand Illusion.

Rome Middle School and the Kiwanis Club each received $1,000, James Schroeder received $500 and Georgia Highlands received $400.

The annual Ginger Parade march on Broad Street is set for March 17 at 11 a.m. The Kiwanis Music Showcase will be March 10 in the Ford auditorium at Berry at 1 p.m., while the Art Showcase will be at the Rome Floyd Library on April 5 at 6 p.m. The GHC Speech competition will be Friday April 13 at noon on the Cartersville campus.

The Rome Middle School Grand Illusion Troupe was first runner-up at the Georgia Vocal Invitational meet in Augusta this past weekend.

RACA provides grants during each calendar quarter to groups and individuals who use the broad cross-section of the arts to increase economic, social and educational awareness and vitality within the Rome community.

"This is the first year that we've done it quarter-by-quarter," said Mandy Maloney, executive director of RACA. "I've tried to streamline some things in my first year."

Maloney said in the past, grants were issued on a rolling basis and it was hard to track the budget.

"We'd get close to the end of the year and realize we've given all of our money away," she said.

A certain portion of the RACA budget is earmarked annually for the grant program.

"Essentially the support we get on a yearly basis from our members and our donors, the vast majority of that we pour right back into the community

Each of the grant recipients is required to take photographs and provide a fairly detailed report of their project back to RACA to show the agency how the funding was used to benefit the community, how many people they reached and the community impact.

One of the largest fundraisers of the year for RACA, the annual Firefly Fling, is coming up April 20 on the grounds of the Rome-Floyd Library where RACA has plans to develop an amphitheater for the arts. The agency hopes to be able to release conceptual site plans for that project sometime in March.

To learn more about RACA, the grants program, and how to support the arts in Rome, visit RACA's website