Local arts and economic development officials launched a program to provide Acadiana artists with small stipends to help pay for projects and professional development.

The program, called ArtSpark, was created by the Acadiana Center for the Arts and Lafayette Economic Development Authority. It is available to artists in Lafayette and the surrounding eight parishes of Acadiana.

A total of $20,000 is available during the current grant award cycle and another $20,000 will be available in the spring, said Jessica Clark, marketing coordinator for the Acadiana Center for the Arts.

The average award is about $2,000, though may range between $1,000 and $5,000, according to the program’s guidelines.

Artists who receive a grant will also benefit from a series of career development seminars designed to help artists sustain their careers in the arts, said Paige Krause, education coordinator for the Acadiana Center for the Arts.

The career development series will be offered in partnership with the Opportunity Machine, a LEDA initiative that provides assistance to emerging businesses.

“For years, LEDA has supported efforts to promote local artists because art is a component of economic development, in addition to playing a significant role in our community’s cultural identity,” said Gregg Gothreaux, LEDA president and CEO.

A one-hour workshop for interested artists to learn more about the program will be offered at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 8 and at 10 a.m. on Sept. 11 at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, 101 W. Vermilion St.

The program is open to digital interactive, visual arts, music, film and live performance artists.

The deadline for applications is Sept. 21 For more information about the program or submission guidelines, visit: AcadianaCenterfortheArts.org/Community.

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