Current Grantees

AthFest Educates 2020 - 2021 Grantees

We are proud to announce the 2020 - 2021 AthFest Educates grantees. The AthFest Educates Board of Directors is thrilled to be supporting the amazing work these individuals do every day on behalf of the young people of Athens-Clarke County. To date, AthFest Educates has awarded over $464,000 in grants to support high-quality music and arts education.

Music and Arts Programs and Experiences Grants

Grantee: Blake Schneider from UGA Performing Arts Center (UGA PAC)

Award Amount: $5,000

Summary: 5,400 CCSD K – 12 students will experience professional dance, theater, and musical performances via the UGA PAC’s Performances for Young People series. This year’s six performances will be performed live at the PAC and students will be able to stream the video. All performances will occur from January 2021 – April 2021. The performances include: The World of Musicals, Momix: Vivamomix (dance company); Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez; Lunasa (Irish acoustic band); Southern Journey: An Afro-Americana Celebration! Featuring Ranky Tanky (music from the South Carolina Gullah culture); and The Kingdom Choir.

Grantee: Heather Garland from Clarke Central High

Award Amount: $4,546

Summary: 100 Clarke Central 9th – 12 grade students will participate in a new ceramics unit as part of their sculpture class. The school is creating a new, fully functional three-dimensional art classroom that will include the ceramics unit as part of the sculpture curriculum.

Grantee: Natalie Smith from HEART Music

Award Amount: $4,000

Summary: 1,051 6th – 12th grade Hilsman Middle, Coile Middle, Cedar Shoals High, and Clarke Central High students will receive instrument-specific small group or one-on-one instruction from professional musicians during the school day. Lessons and tutorials will be web-based while schools are virtual and face-to-face when in-person class resumes. The program is expanding to include Coile and Cedar during the ’20 – ’21 school year.

Grantee: Melanie Sgrignoli from Timothy Road Elementary

funded in part by the Stephanie Reavis Memorial Grant

Award Amount: $3,870

Summary: 75 4th grade students will create a collaborative portrait drawing and mural with local professional artist, Cameron Bliss. Bliss will work with students as they learn to draw portraits using naturalistic and symbolic drawing techniques. Bliss will use the student portraits to develop a mural that includes the students’ faces, imagery, and symbols. The mural will be painted by Bliss on the 4th grade hallway.

Grantee: Kitty Meyran from the YWCO

Award Amount: $3,157

Summary: In collaboration with Wooten Woopets, 32 3rd grade girls will participate in the week-long Puppetry Arts Project summer camp. The week begins by attending a live performance at the Center for Puppetry Arts. Girls will then spend the rest of the week working with Mary Wooten and her staff to create their own puppets using a variety of materials and methods in inventive ways to make a finished work of art. Girls will learn how to manipulate their puppets and how to create original short skits. The camp will culminate with the girls presenting their puppets and skits to their families and fellow campers.

Grantee: Amanda Price, Meghan McNeeley, and Brian Ash from Clarke Central High

Recipient of the John & Patricia Whitehead Grant

Award Amount: $2,814

Summary: 70 9th – 12th grade students will participate in a combined research and mural project. Students will research historic neighborhoods and communities in the Clarke Central district to create an illustrated historical map that includes landmarks, businesses, and figures. Student leaders in the National Art Honor Society will develop a draft of the mural based on the student research and map. Students will then collaborate with local professional artist, Marisa Mustard, to create the final design of the mural and paint the mural in the school.

Music and Arts Non-Consumable Equipment Grants

Grantee: Debbie Watson from Nuci’s Space

Recipient of the Nick and Erin Maulding Grant

Award Amount: $5,000

Summary: Purchase 10 keyboards, 10 acoustic guitars, and 15 mini basses so 80 4th and 5th grade students from Alps Elementary and JJ Harris Elementary can participate in the Mikey Houser Pre-Amped Afterschool Program. Pre-Amped is a 5-week program and is free for students to attend. The program meets two times per week and each class is 90 minutes long. The program is offered four times a year.

Grantee: Evan Michael Bush from the ACC Library

Award Amount: $4,300

Summary: Purchase instruments, technology, and storage needed to offer free, virtual afterschool music programs for 60 youth. The library will offer four one-week “Step Into Music” programs throughout the year for K – 1 students. Each students will check out a personal elementary music kit containing tambourines, beat bocks, triangles, bells, agogos, kokorikos, and drums to use at home during their virtual program. The library will also offer four one-week ukulele courses for 2nd and 3rd grade students. Students will check out ukuleles and tuners to use at home for their virtual course.

Grantee: Latrese Hodges from Alps Road Elementary

Award Amount: $3,255

Summary: Purchase 35 ukuleles, replacement ukulele strings, 12 music stands, and 26 ukulele method books for 106 4th and 5th grade students to learn how to play the ukulele.

Grantee: Erin Towe from Barrow Elementary School

Recipient of the John & Patricia Whitehead Grant

Award Amount: $2,537

Summary: Purchase a set of five Orff instruments including an alto xylophone, bass xylophone, alto metallophone, soprano glockenspiel, and an alto glockenspiel so 550 K – 5 students can learn to work together in creating music and operate as an ensemble.

Grantee: Anna Chandler from Barnett Shoals Elementary

Award Amount: $1,693

Summary: Purchase 30 ukuleles so 210 3rd – 5th grade students can learn to compose music by learning plucking techniques, chords, and rhythms on the ukulele.

If you would like to learn more about how you can make a measurable

difference in the lives of young people in Athens-Clarke County, please contact

us at (706) 548-1973 or via e-mail at

You may also donate directly to AthFest Educates using the link below.

We thank you in advance for your contribution!