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PAL Theatre Receives Grant For Renovations

Courtesy of the Vidalia Convention & Visitors Bureau

The PAL Theatre is one of 31 facilities throughout 23 counties who were awarded a Cultural Facilities grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts, a strategic arm of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, for fiscal year 2024. The Cultural Facilities grant supports the acquisition, construction, restoration, or renovation of a building to be used for arts programming.

The grant invests $1.2 million in funding to various theatres and other facilities within the state. “These grant dollars will allow arts organizations in Georgia to focus on their primary mission to bring art and cultural events to their communities by ensuring their facilities are in good condition,” Georgia Council for the Arts Director Tina Lilly explained. “Georgia Council for the Arts is excited to help our arts communities continue to foster economic and cultural vitality by improving their facilities, and we are grateful to the Georgia General Assembly for providing this support to improve quality of life across the state.”

Georgia Council for the Arts received applications from arts organizations from across the state, including performing arts centers, museums, galleries, amphitheaters, and arts classroom spaces. Cultural Facilities grants are available to arts organizations for repairing, preserving, or acquiring an arts facility, or for purchasing equipment. The Council used Peer Review Panels to judge and review applications following standard practices set by the National Endowment for the Arts. Panelists are GCA Council members and fellow professionals who are experienced in the arts discipline or type of grant being reviewed, or are citizens with a record of arts activities, experience, and knowledge.

According to Vidalia Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Alexa Britton, this funding will be used to improve seating within the PAL Theatre. “This project is just over $113,000.00 and we were awarded $56,555.00. The Vidalia Convention & Visitors Bureau will provide the matching funds out of local accommodations tax appropriated to the CVB, so no local tax money will be used for this,” she clarified. “The project includes replacing the main floor seating in the PAL Theatre with new seats that will very closely match the balcony seats; all the seats and rows will be tagged; and the main floor aisles and area in between the stage and the front row of seats will be covered in carpet with aisle lighting installed on both sides.”

PAL Theatre Manager Michael Harden also commented on the grant. “We’re excited to make the main floor section look as good and be as comfortable as the balcony,” he shared. “Adding seat and row tags and aisle lighting will provide safer access to the theatre and help patrons find their seats, especially for live events. We are so grateful for the generous support from the Georgia General Assembly and the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to fund Georgia Council for the Arts grants. This is the second time we have received the Cultural Facilities grant to help upgrade our equipment in the PAL Theatre. In 2021-22 we received this grant to help us add new lighting and sound equipment for live events held in the theatre.”

The exact completion date of the renovation has not been shared, but patrons can expect to see the changes in the near future. About Georgia Council for the Arts Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) is a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development whose mission is to cultivate the growth of vibrant, thriving Georgia communities through the arts. GCA provides grant funding, programs, and services statewide that support the vital arts industry, preserve the state’s cultural heritage, increase tourism, and nurture strong communities. Funding for Georgia Council for the Arts is provided by appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit www.gaarts. org for more information. About the Georgia Department of Economic Development The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, align workforce education and training with indemand jobs, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a destination for arts and location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development. Visit www.georgia. org for more information.

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