The Athens Cultural Affairs Commission recently awarded $1,500 to five Athens organizations that play vital roles in Athens’ cultural scene. The ACAC awarded the money to help these organizations survive amid COVID-19, according to a press release.
The five winners are Nuçi’s Space, Canopy Studio, Athens Institute for Contemporary Art (ATHICA), Culinary Kitchen of Athens and Envision Athens.
Mariah Caldwell, the development associate for Nuçi’s Space, said the nonprofit has been closed to the public since mid-March because of the pandemic. Times are difficult for everyone, but as a nonprofit, Nuçi’s Space has been hit particularly hard after losing “a good portion” of their yearly revenue, Caldwell said.
Caldwell said the $1,500 grant will go a long way "to help us keep our doors open.”
Donations and support from the community have also helped the nonprofit stay in business while they were not generating any revenue, Caldwell said.
Nuçi's Space will use the money to help continue its Live from Home online series for the rest of the year, Caldwell said. The series, which highlights local Athens musicians through Facebook Live, is free to anyone who can access the internet.
“We are not able to do anything in person at the moment, but we are able to highlight the music community in Athens, as well as bring ourselves to light as well,” Caldwell said.
As Georgia continues to reopen, Nuçi's Space plans on having a soft opening by only inviting a small number of people, “just to see how the first week goes,” Caldwell said.
Canopy Studio, a nonprofit aerial arts organization, also received the ACAC grant because it was able to demonstrate how the studio could have a socially distant outdoor performance, Canopy Studio Executive Director Melissa Roberts said.
Canopy will use the grant money to prepare a lot that the organization recently purchased, Roberts said. The lot will eventually become a place where Canopy can invite the Athens community to watch them perform, Roberts said.
The studio has been closed since March 13, but Canopy has plans to reopen starting July 6, Roberts said. Masks, social distancing and disinfecting the equipment will become the new norm once they reopen, she said.
Canopy is aiming to host its outdoor performance by the end of the summer, Roberts said, depending on new COVID-19 instructions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as local authorities.
“It's nice to know the creative art community is still being encouraged, supported and recognized,” Roberts said.