Mars Theatre in LaFayette

Mars Theatre in LaFayette

Back Alley Productions was awarded a Resiliency Grant by the Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA), a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Sixty-three Georgia arts organizations in all 14 Congressional districts will receive a one-time competitive grant funded through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. As a state arts agency, the Georgia Council for the Arts was designated to distribute these ‘Resiliency Grant’ funds from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help sustain Georgia’s nonprofit arts sector.

“Georgia arts organizations are an economic engine and a collective of visionary leadership that has brought us together as one community, to heal, remember, confront challenges and triumphantly celebrate joy. They comprise an industry devastated by COVID-19 and worth supporting and fighting for,” said Georgia Council for the Arts Executive Director Karen Paty.

“We are grateful for the federal support of this essential industry, and while we wish we were able to support all of the organizations that sought this support, we are delighted to be able to fund a small portion of a resiliency plan for the 63 organizations that we are able to fund," Paty said.

In April, the NEA awarded 40% of the agency’s funding provided by Congress in the CARES Act, nearly $30 million, to state and territorial arts agencies and regional arts organizations for their funding programs to ensure wide distribution throughout the country. Georgia received $507,900 in CARES Act funding, which Georgia Council for the Arts utilized for its Resiliency Grant.

An additional $60,000 was awarded to GCA from South Arts to support rural and/or culturally specific organizations through this program. One hundred and seventy-one organizations submitted applications for this grant program, requesting a total of $1.78 M. Georgia Council for the Arts announced the recipients of these competitive grants to nonprofit arts organizations across Georgia.

“We’re sincerely grateful to the GCA and the NEA for selecting us for this competitive grant,” Back Alley Productions Executive Producer Kaylee Smith added. “There’s simply nothing right now in the way of replacing the real magic of live theatre, but receiving this award goes a long way to position us for a strong comeback.

"Funding from and for the GCA and NEA is critical to supporting arts organizations across the state as artists begin to look towards economic recovery," Smith said. "Each day brings us closer to that moment where we can reopen our doors to the community again.”

Upon review of applications, final selections were determined by peer review panels, which included fellow professionals who are experienced in the arts discipline or type of grant being reviewed, or are Georgia citizens with a record of involvement in arts activities, experience and knowledge.

Georgia Council of Arts

Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) is a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development whose mission is to cultivate the growth of vibrant, thriving Georgia communities through the arts. GCA provides grant funding, programs and services statewide that support the vital arts industry, preserve the state’s cultural heritage, increase tourism and nurture strong communities. Funding for Georgia Council for the Arts is provided by appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit

Georgia Department of Economic Development

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, align workforce education and training with in-demand jobs, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia and promoting the state as a destination for arts and location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development. Visit

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