Aiken County arts-related organizations participates in new Momentum Augusta program

  • Posted: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 8:55 p.m.
    UPDATED: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 11:01 p.m.

Four arts-related organizations in Aiken County are participating in a new two-year program known as Momentum Augusta, which is designed to improve their organizational and operational skills. The series of workshops and coaching opportunities is being offered to 20 groups through the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.

“It's kind of a boot camp for learning how to better manage your organization and operate it more efficiently,” said William H. Tucker, an Aiken attorney who serves on the board of the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area. “It's a tremendous gift to these arts organizations in the area; they are getting some free help that will make them stronger. They will learn about strategic planning, board recruitment, marketing and all sorts of things.”

The Aiken County organizations participating in the program are the Aiken Center for the Arts, Aiken Performing Arts Group, Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta and Aiken Music Festival, which also is known as Juilliard in Aiken.

“We had more applicants than we had slots, so we had to cull some,” Tucker said.

The Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area spearheaded the creation of Momentum Augusta and teamed with the Knox Foundation, Creel-Harison Foundation, Augusta Regional Collaboration Project and Trustees of the Academy of Richmond County to develop and fund it. The Woodruff Foundation of Atlanta and the Georgia Council for the Arts, through funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, also have contributed money to the program.

The budget for Momentum Augusta is around $160,000, according to Tucker.

“We want to make nonprofit organizations in our area healthier, and we want to make them better stewards of the dollars that are contributed to them,” he said. “The hope is that after this two-year cycle, we will do another program for a group of nonprofits with a different focus such as education or social services.”

Dede Biles is a general assignment reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since January 2013. A native of Concord, N.C., she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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