The Gainesville Theatre Alliance has been awarded a $10,000 Partner Grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts, just in time for its 35th anniversary season.
“It’s a real honor for us,” said Jim Hammond. “That validation means a great deal for us.”
The managing director of GTA said he is looking forward to what the grant will do for his actors, who are students at the University of North Georgia and Brenau University. Hammond said the extra funds will go toward inviting professional actors to train the students.
“This is really important to our theater because it lifts the learning curve for all of our students,” he said. “They are able to work side by side with distinguished and very talented professionals, but for the students it means that they are building this incredible list of contacts. By the time they graduate, they’ve worked with 30 to 40 theater professionals."
The grant also helps GTA bring higher-quality productions to North Georgia, Hammond said.
“What that government money does more than anything else is that it allows us to make theater affordable and available to more people,” he said. “You go to New York to see a show and you’re spending $140 a ticket. When you come to the Gainesville Theatre and see high-quality work, you’re paying $20 a ticket.”
These offerings are made possible by support from the community and the grant, he said.
The Georgia Council for the Arts chose GTA to receive this grant because it excels at the impact of work in the community and has high artistic quality, said Emily Murray, a communications specialist for the organization.
“We strongly believe in the value of the artistic community. We strive to support our arts organizations that are delivering a high quality of work and nurturing arts in their community,” she said.
The grant will keep GTA on its successful track, Hammond said.
“We’re at a record pace in terms of ticket sales, and that support from the community is pretty exciting.”