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VOL. 133 | NO. 35 | Friday, February 16, 2018

Next-Level Arts

DeltaARTS among 14 nonprofits to win CFGM grants

By Don Wade

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DeltaARTS had its beginnings in 1972, in the home of founder of Bobbi Dodge. Then came years in a storefront that, as executive director Amelia Barton described it, was “right across from the bowling alley and next to the cleaners.” Now, not only is the nonprofit in its own freestanding facility in West Memphis but the building, known as the Glenn P. Schoettle Arts Education Center at 301 S. Rhodes St., will be getting technology upgrades through a capacity-building grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis.

“We are so thrilled to be in this building and so fortunate (Crittenden) County is lending it to us for $1 a year,” Barton said of the 16-year-old structure, which formerly was a medical education center. “We’ll have a theater with lighting and digital sound. It will be absolutely amazing.”

DeltaARTS, a nonprofit arts organization in West Memphis, received a capacity-building grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Memphis to support its programming and technology upgrades to the Glenn P. Schoettle Arts Education Center. Elizabeth Warren, left, is director of Grants and Initiatives, and Amelia Barton is executive director. (Daily News/Houston Cofield)

Each year, DeltaARTS serves more than 15,000 children and adults. But former board member Mike Ford says when one considers the impact over the decades, it’s almost impossible to quantify.

“DeltaARTS has been extremely important to the community of Crittenden County,” he said. “A lot of kids have been exposed to theater, music and art. And this is an absolute perfect building for the arts.”

The Schoettle center spans 7,500 square feet. Barton says the building will have many uses, all of which will be substantially enhanced because of the capacity-building grant, which is for $10,667 and is one of 14 capacity-building grants the Community Foundation awarded for fiscal year 2018.

The 14 grants total $203,117.

DeltaARTS will use the building and the capacity grant funds for productions for children, adults, seniors and families; art shows and exhibits; community meetings; and business workshops and training that intersect with the arts.

Elizabeth Warren, director of grants and initiatives for the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, says that for capacity-building grants the foundation always tries to identity nonprofits with a minimum three-year track record of success. On that score, DeltaARTS easily qualified. DeltaARTS also is in the midst of a capital campaign.

“It’s a little more difficult fundraising for the arts than other entities,” Barton said.

Ford is familiar with other performing arts centers in the area and believes with the technology upgrades via the grant, DeltaARTS’ programming and productions will have as good a venue as there is.

“It will have a great feel not only for the participants, but the audience, too,” he said. “You’ve got to continue to stay cutting-edge to be relevant in anything you’re doing. Once it’s complete, it’ll rival any performing arts center in the Mid-South.”

The other Community Foundation nonprofit capacity-building grants for FY 2018 include:

DeltaARTS, a nonprofit arts organization in West Memphis, received a capacity-building grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Memphis to support its programming and technology upgrades to the Glenn P. Schoettle Arts Education Center. (Daily News/Houston Cofield)

A Step Ahead Foundation Inc. ($15,000) for a salesforce upgrade and training and a marketing technology upgrade.

Church Health ($40,000) for server upgrades, new software for the physical therapy clinic, and software upgrades for human resources.

Creative Aging Mid-South ($7,500) for a new website with refreshed branding and the development of a digital/social media strategy.

Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association ($20,000) for the development of the MIFA Center for Community.

Center for Transforming Communities ($9,500) for architectural services for The Commons on Merton.

Dorothy Day House of Hospitality ($20,000) for wiring, computer hardware and printers for the new houses.

Hope House Day Care Center Inc. ($20,000) for the development of a marketing/public relations plan.

Madonna Learning Center Inc. ($7,000) for a website redesign and ecommerce site development.

New Hope Christian Academy ($20,000) for the development of a messaging plan.

PRIZM Ensemble ($6,750) for website upgrades.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis Inc. ($15,000) for purchasing Raiser’s Edge NXT and Financial Edge NXT database software.

Southern College of Optometry ($6,300) for researching and implementing a diversity and inclusion plan.

Streets Ministries Inc. ($5,400) for trauma-informed care training.

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