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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Greater Augusta Arts Council, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts & Humanities Councils & Agencies, Arts Education, Museums

Mission: The mission of the Greater Augusta Arts Council is to advance the arts and thus, enrich the quality of life in Augusta and the Central Savannah River Area. From the youngest child to their great, great grandparents and every socioeconomic and ethnic background we are touching lives everyday. The smallest events are those that make us the most proud. The smiles of the children in our ArtScape Camp, the joy from the performers on the ethnic stage at Arts in the Heart or the elderly man taking his first painting lesson he has wished for since childhood. Our community is built one by one in diverse individuals making up the incredible region we call our home. The GAAC has been here for 40 years weaving the arts into our lives. The Greater Augusta Arts Council has a strong history in our community, and with your support, we can continue growing and expanding the vision of the arts community in the CSRA. Our wish for you is to become involved in and support the arts.

Geographic areas served: Central Savannah River Area

Programs: Various activities that support the organization's goals to develop programs. Goals include strengthening the area's cultural institutions and improve the quality of education in the areas of art and music. They also serve as an advocate for development of new cultural facilities and programs throughout the csra.

arts in the heart of augusta festival has been in existence for over 25 years. A 2-1/2 day celebration for the area to promote arts, cultural resources and crafts. Approximate attendance of 60,000. Planned by board and community volunteers. Over 600 volunteers work during the 2-1/2 day event. Now it is part of the westobou festival, which increases marketing across the southeast. The city of augusta and sponsors contribute to the event. The event features booths from over 15 local ethnic organizations, 70 artist booths, and 4 stages including performances by local singers, dancers, actors, writers and art schools. A free hands on children's area is provided along with numerous ethnic performances that brand our event.

regrant city funds to individual art groups through grant program. The greater augusta arts council acts as the cultural arm of the city of augusta. Each year, we regrant funds designated by the city, to non-profit arts organization programs in richmond county. We serve as the regional administrator for the ga council for the arts by awarding $75,000 to a twelve county area.

Community Stories

17 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Wet Paint Party was a fantastic way to explore art in a exciting manner - historic setting - Sky City - great art to bid on and a fashion show too!

2 Karen G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Greater Augusta Arts Council (GAAC) has been a part of the fabric of the Central Savannah River Area for as long as I can remember... sponsoring arts infusion programs, spearheading art awareness camps and supporting the efforts of local arts organizations and artists.



I've been a volunteer performer, paid contractor, head of a member organization, award recipient and supporter of Council activities for more than 10 years.



The GAAC "gets it." This organization understands the challenges/rewards of artistic pursuits as well as the work that has to be done to secure partnerships and engage volunteers, all while creating opportunities to develop the next generation of artist and arts lovers. GAAC also promotes local arts events with a weekly radio broadcast/podcast.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization has a truly regional approach to providing cultural experiences for everyone. From First Friday to the Arts in the Heart festival every fall, the Arts Council seems committed to bringing everyone together and improving the quality of life.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Greater Augusta Arts Council is a wonderful asset to our community. I look forward to the annual Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival, which in addition to highlighting artists and performers, also highlights the diversity of our community. I believe this is a unique feature and I'm very proud to have it in my community. I also believe the experiences that come from the Artcamps held during the summer for our youth are fantastic. GAAC is innovative in its approach and continues to work to be of a great service to both artists and patrons. Thanks GAAC, Inc.!

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What I love about the Greater Augusta Arts Council is they are all moving forward. Their Director is innovative and encourages their organization to move into the new and unknown. I have watched Arts in the Hearts grow and evolve into an impressive venue that Augusta and Georgia should be extremely proud of. They do so much to make Augusta a better place to be- Arts in the Hearts, First Friday, Re-granting, working with other Arts groups to bring them together as one. They make our community a better place to live!

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am always impressed with the work of the GAAC-serving as ambassador for the entire arts community and reinforcing the role of arts and culture in the economic health of our community. In addition, their signature event, Arts in the Heart, is a top-rated event in the nation and unifies our city in a way that no other event does.

13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have participated in First Friday events for many years. In the beginning, the events were very disorganized. I am one of the street musicians. There was no real authority taking control of the location of the musical acts which resulted in some of the acts being located too close to each other. Early on, event security was almost non-existent. Now security guards are visible through out the night. In addition, the current staff of the Greater Augusta Arts Council understands the importance of these events as they relate to improvement in the "livability" of the Augusta area. Overall, a great improvement.

15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Greater Augusta Arts Council is full of fabulous people who help promote the fine arts in the Augusta Area. I've been able to see first-hand the long hours and stressful days that they put in working for their cause. They are all very dedicated at determined to spread education of the fine arts to every person in our area, with no age, color, gender, ethnic, or racial prejudices. They are all very loving and supportive of every good cause they come across.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been involved with the GAAC for many years. I have served on the board for several years and as a general volunteer for others. GAAC preimer event is Ats in the Heart of Augusta. I love helping to make the best Cultural event in the CSRA become a reality ever year.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 4

My first experience with the GAAC was Arts in the Heart. I was reminded of the many cultural arts programs I use to attend in the greater Orlando area. I am pleased to now be participating in organizing the literary arts at this event and have watched the event improve steadily every year since I first attended in 2001. Since the GAAC took on the First Friday Arts Celebration, I have participated as patron, volunteer and local business. We have been working to improve this event as well and are looking forward to a bright 2010.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with the Greater Augusta Arts Council over the last several years and found the organization and staff very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. The GAAC is responsible for the Arts in the Heart of Augusta festival held in September that is the single largest art event in the area. It is well very organized and run; and attended by many thousands of people both local and out of town. They administer several grant programs that provide greatly needed arts funding to the area. I think one of the most important things about the GAAC is that the staff, Brenda, Melissa and Grace are easily accessible and are willing to help in anyway they can. They coordinate the arts activities in Richmond County and several surrounding counties. Brenda also hosts a half hour radio broadcast that promotes the arts in the CSRA

12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for Arts in the Heart of Augusta. I was able to assist in overall setup of the Festival and "customer service" maintenance throughout the weekend. It was a wonderful team to work with. The staff is enthusiastic about the Arts Council- so much that it is contagious. All of the volunteers were willing to do whatever it took to put on an amazing event.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Greater Augusta Arts Council has been such a great help to our rural community. We have been writing for thier grants over 10 years. These grants have been used to bring arts programs to the citizens of our community who would in many cases never get the chance to be exposed to such a variety of the arts. It is so important for everyone to see whats available outside our little rural area. I have been priviledged to see the special sparkle in the young and old when they experience enjoyment in the arts. Great job council. You have been so very helpful and supportive all the way!

13

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I worked with the GAAC during Arts in the Heart as a volunteer, and I have to say that it was a great experience! The food variety was awesome, the vendors were impressive, and working with the people there was easy! No complaints! :)

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer of the Greater Augusta Arts Council, I find that this is one of the best organizations to stay involved with. The small staff works miracles with all the events they run throughout the year. Not only have I made great life long friends but it is a wonderful way to stay in contact with all that the Arts has to offer. I would recommend to all near and far to come and visit and see the extraordinary events that GAAC is responsible for bring Augusta together.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Greater Augusta Arts Council makes sure the arts survive - and grow - in Augusta. I'm a recipient of a Grassroots Arts Grant which has allowed me to share my passion for ceramics with the residents of Hope House, a non-profit that assists women and children. The Greater Augusta Arts Council has grown our annual Arts in the Heart festival into a classy celebration that rivals any in any city. They lobby for the arts and for artists and keep us in front of the policy-makers. Two thumbs up.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Greater Augusta Arts Council has been extremely successful in distributing funding to the arts organzations in our area for years. Their leadership and procedures insure that every group has a chance to plead their case for much-needed community funding. Their premier event, Westabou, has been a welcome addition to a busy arts fall calendar which features our family's favorite annual festival, Arts in The Heart of Augusta. Arts in the Heart is one weekend where all ethnicities gather to celebrate their heritage and the visual and perfoming arts. Where else can you enjoy cuisine from over 30 countries while taking in performances by local regional and national artists including dance troups, singers and songwriters, storytellers, visual artists, and so mcuh more! Our children absolutely love making their way through the Children's Area, participating in numerous crafts and activities designed especially for them. Being a former staff member, I realize that I may be a little biased, but having produced well over 100 world-class special events all across North America, I can assure you that this event is a must-see festival. It is one of the highlights of our year! So much so, that we even returned every year when we lived out of town just so we could share this experience with our kids.