A! Magazine for the Arts

'Round the Mountain Receives Grant

July 21, 2008

ABINGDON, Va. -- `Round the Mountain: Virginia's Artisan Network (RTM) has received a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA) for General Operating Support.

This highly competitive grant category offers rare, non-project-related funding to organizations that show competence and goal-oriented planning for delivery of quality cultural opportunities for residents and visitors to the Commonwealth.

The General Operating Support grant category is an award based on not more than 10 percent of the organization's previous-year actualized income (with certain restrictions). Most of the General Operating Support Grantees this year received approximately 6.8 percent of their previous year's eligible income. The awards are contingent upon actions by the Governor and the General Assembly.

"We're a young organization with a small eligible income so far," said Diana Blackburn, RTM's executive director. "So although this award is modest, we are very proud to have qualified and introduced ourselves to the Commissioners. We are looking forward to a long working relationship with the VCA."

This is RTM's first application to the VCA for General Operating Support. It is among the most challenging grant application processes in the state. "The fact that a young, first-time applicant received the maximum award requested," said RTM board member, Lee Chichester, "speaks highly of RTM's attention to capacity-building, its strategic plan for the future, and its inclusiveness over such an enormous geographic area."

Commissioners to the VCA who make the final determinations for grant awards are appointed by the Governor to serve 5-year terms, and are advocates for cultural interests across the Commonwealth. In addition, all grant applications are pre-screened by volunteer panelists who represent arts organizations in their Panel Area. These panelists make recommendations to the Commissioners about the quality of the organizations and programs applying for funding.

For more information about RTM, visit www.roundthemountain.org or contact Blackburn at 276-492-2080 or email dblackburn@roundthemountain.org. RTM is located at 851 French Moore Jr. Boulevard ? Suite 145, Abingdon, VA 24210.

The 'Round the Mountain service area includes Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe counties, and the cities of Bristol, Galax, Norton and Radford.