Art Huntsville announces grant winners, opens new NASA gallery

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - While funding for the arts is being slashed in city budgets across the country, Huntsville continues to provide support in a big way.

For the fifth year in a row, 15 local art organizations received much more than a check.

“The city allocates 100,000 dollars in pass through grant funds to local non-profit arts and cultural organizations," said Allison Dillon-Jauken, the Executive Director of Arts Huntsville.

The envelopes represent the opportunity to reach more people and bring a little more culture to the Rocket City.

“Last year alone, grant funded programs served over 126,000 area residents and visitors including over 47,000 area children," said Dillon-Jauken.

She said it's money well spent.  “We have so much to offer in Huntsville. We have great jobs, good schools, we have a beautiful community but the arts are what help us get out of the house on the weekends and bring us together," said Dillon-Jauken.

GRANTEE ORGANIZATION                                   GRANT AWARD                             GRANT PROJECT
Alabama Youth Ballet                                             $6,526.00                                      2016-2017 Performing Season
Ars Nova                                                                   $4,291.00                                      2017 Performances and Outreach
Broadway Theatre League                                    $9,896.00                                      2016-2017 Live Educational Theatrical Shows
Community Ballet Association                             $7,496.00                                     2017 Performances and Discover Dance
Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater                $9,565.00                                     2016-2017 Season and Academy
Huntsville Chamber Music Guild                        $6,364.00                                      2016-2017 Concert Series & Education Outreach
Huntsville Community Chorus                            $7,576.00                                      2017 Performance Season
Huntsville Community Drumline                        $7,496.00                                      2017 All-Area Youth Drumline
Huntsville Literary Association                           $7,334.00                                     2017 Shakespeare and Young Writers Contest
Huntsville Master Chorale                                   $5,461.00                                    2016-2017 Concert Series
Huntsville Youth Orchestra                                 $3,525.00                                     2017 Concert Series
Independent Musical Productions                    $9,499.00                                     2017 Production of Ragtime
Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center          $9,773.00                                      2017 Happy Days Concert Series
Tennessee Valley Jazz Society                            $3,041.00                                     2017 Gospel, Blues and Jazz Music Series
*Twickenham Fest                                               $2,157.00                                   2017 Twickenham Music Festival
TOTAL GRANT AWARDS                                   $ 100,000.00
* Indicates first-time grant recipient        

While the presentation of grant money took center stage, you might argue the opening of a new gallery stole the show. The new gallery, furnished by the Marshall Space Flight Center, features works not seen by the public in decades.

“It points towards a bright future," said Brian Odom, the historian out at Marshall.

While some of these works hung in parts of Marshall's administrative offices, most of the concept art was hidden away.

“Bringing it here I think is great. It’s been in the warehouse for such a long time," said Odom.

Brian says long before computer animation gave the public a glimpse of NASA's future, this commissioned art served that role.

“This collection that’s here represents a small segment of that art that the work does in the Apollo program and to some degree a little bit later," he said.

NASA hopes these pieces will inspire the next generation of artists to capture the wonder of space.

“I think from Marshall’s perspective. That’s something we’re still doing today. That journey to Mars and letting you know, we’ve done these things in the past and we’re continuing to do it today," said Odom.

The exhibit is on display until the end of March at the Von Braun Center Playhouse.