The University of North Georgia (UNG) and the UNG Foundation, which raises private funds to support student scholarships and university needs above and beyond state funding, have contributed $50,000 to the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF) for facility renovations in support of arts education.
The contribution was announced on July 25 at OCAF's annual members meeting, during which the organization celebrated its 20th anniversary and announced plans for a capital campaign to fund facility improvements and future operations. More than 125 people attended the event.
"Art is important to communities and to universities because part of being a well-educated person is having an understanding and appreciation of the arts," said UNG President Bonita C. Jacobs. "We are very thankful to you for being such a valuable partner as we seek to serve the needs of students. You have embraced our students, faculty and staff by giving them a place to pursue and exhibit their work and also an opportunity to interact with the community."
UNG's Oconee Campus, located on Bishop Farms Parkway in Watkinsville, serves some 2,500 students. With facilities at the Oconee Campus stretched to capacity, the university has partnered with OCAF for several years to hold classes in OCAF's art education facilities.
"The commitment of UNG to our organization is as significant as any participation OCAF has enjoyed in its history, not only because it will provide funds for a new classroom to serve UNG and OCAF students, but because it stands as a model of collaboration between two entities dedicated to supporting arts education," Amrey Harden, OCAF's chairman, said.
Founded in March 1994, OCAF develops programs and classes in the performing, visual and literary arts. Annual cultural arts festivals, ongoing art exhibits, classes for children and adults, and musical and theatrical performances highlight OCAF's schedule of events.Through its capital campaign, OCAF plans an emphasis on repairs and renovations needed for its 1902 building, School Street Studios, and Rocket Hall, all of which comprise a complex dedicated to education and community involvement.