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State Art Council Moves to Georgia Department of Economic Development | Arts & Culture

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State Art Council Moves to Georgia Department of Economic Development

Governor Nathan Deal signed legislation May 12 that officially moves Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) under the operational umbrella of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) beginning July 1, 2011, the start of the state’s fiscal year. House Bill 264, which contained specific language regarding the transfer, was passed virtually unanimously by the House and Senate during the 2011 legislative session.

That's according to a Governor's Office news release.

“Companies moving to Georgia want to be part of a dynamic cultural community,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Cummiskey. “Aligning Georgia Council for the Arts more closely with the state’s economic development efforts allows us to maximize its impact, build greater opportunities to develop cultural partnerships, and increase the potential to leverage federal funding.”

As the state’s marketing and sales arm, the Georgia Department of Economic Development encourages business and job creation. Additionally, the agency provides promotional support for Georgia’s cultural attractions. Many of those organizations are grantees of Georgia Council for the Arts.

“We are pleased that the Council will become a division of economic development. There is a natural opportunity to strengthen the connections between our two groups that will provide benefits for the entire state,” said Kevin Langston, deputy commissioner for tourism, Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Tourism and the arts are closely linked. Arts and cultural events are one of Georgia's top tourism draws, and a closer alignment of our two organizations can help to strengthen both.” 

Since 1965, GCA has supported the arts industry throughout the state by providing funding, leadership, programming and other services. Currently, twenty-six state arts agencies are part of a larger agency within state governments.  Like Georgia, several of those agencies are a part of economic development.

“The Department of Economic Development creates opportunity for Georgians by effectively promoting the state’s cultural resources,” added Karen Paty, interim director for Georgia Council for the Arts. “We are excited about the potential to enhance those resources and strengthen our mission of providing access to the arts for all Georgians as well as providing additional value for GCA, its clients and all external stakeholders.”

Georgia Council for the Arts provides support for nonprofit arts organizations throughout the state.  Established in 1965 as the Georgia Commission on the Arts, its mission is to encourage excellence in the arts, support the arts may forms of expressions and make the arts available to all Georgians by providing funding, leadership, programming and other services.  Funding for Georgia Council for the Arts is provided by appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly, the National Endowment for the Arts and other private and public sources.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state's sales and marketing arm. The agency attracts new business, encourages the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, and locates new markets for Georgia products. It also markets Georgia to tourists and promotes the state as a location for film, music and digital entertainment projects. For more information, visit www.Georgia.org.

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