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Faculty projects incorporating the arts win local grants

Two College of Education faculty members have received grants through the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission to support community arts projects.

The first, professor Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor, will use the $1,500 stipend provided through the Arts in Community program to fund her "Seat in the Shade" poetry series. This regular summer event, which took a year off last year to focus on Cahnmann-Taylor's National Endowment for the Arts' "Big Read" events, will feature notable poets such as Lemuel "Life the Griot" LaRoche, Soham Patel, Jenny Sadre-Orafel and Georgia's poet laureate, Bave Bottoms.

The second, associate professor Kevin Burke, will use the $1,500 to partner with the Athens Housing Authority to produce a mural at the Parkview Community Center. Athens artist Broderick Flanigan will work with children in the neighborhood to create the mural, and the project will take place during the fall semester. At the same time, Burke will be teaching a course that connects children in the neighborhood with University of Georgia students studying to be future teachers. They will learn how community involvement, research and different forms of storytelling can promote literacy.

Cahnmann-Taylor's "Seat in the Shade" poetry series takes place over the last three Wednesdays in July—July 11, 18 and 25—with a special showcase on Friday, July 27, featuring Cahnmann-Taylor and her student poets. All readings take place 5:30-7 p.m. at Hendershots Coffee, 237 Prince Ave. Athens.

The poetry series is open to the public, but it also serves a purpose: It provides a teaching component to a graduate-level writing class taught by Cahnmann-Taylor. During the day, students work on various forms of poetry to push the boundaries of what is writing, and in the evening they experience the work of professional poets.