“United Arts of Cobb makes a difference in our community through its support of the arts,” said Ron Francis, chairman of UAC and who is vice chairman and CEO of First Landmark Bank at 307 North Marietta Parkway.
In 2001, UAC was started to assist arts groups in Cobb County who were struggling to raise enough money to cover their expenses. UAC established an endowment fund supported by the Cobb Arts Ball and other contributions in order to support the artistic endeavors of arts organizations that were members of the UAC.
“Through four arts balls and a grant from the SunTrust Foundation, (UAC) has approximately $300,000 plus in the endowment fund,” Francis said.
UAC recently disbursed its first grants to arts members totaling $30,000, all for educational purposes of Cobb and Marietta students. Through a request for proposal process, the Board of Directors approved grants for seven out of 10 applicants including the Georgia Ballet, Tell Tale Theatre, Cobb Marietta Museum of Art, the Cobb Symphony, the Georgia Conservancy of Dance, Cobb Wind Symphony and the Big Chicken Chorus.
“We hope that this is just a start. Each year based off the earnings we have in the endowment fund and as we continue to add to the endowment fund, we hope to continue to give these grants,” he said. UAC was started with with seven Cobb-based arts groups and now has 15 members.
“Community support is important to UAC so we can give money to different arts groups who in turn can help our children learn more about art formats and medias,” he said. “It’s been proven that any child involved in the arts does better in school.”
The need for support is real. “With the economy the way it is, all the arts groups are hurting. More people are starting to realize the need,” he said.
For more information, visit www.unitedartsofcobb.org.