Spark Art receives grant, starts fund raiser for Art Park equipment

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By Denise DuBois

The Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley has selected grant recipients to receive support from its Discretionary Grant Program and Innovation Grant Program. Funding totals $99,485 and supports 18 area projects throughout the Chattahoochee Valley, Betsy Covington, President and CEO, announced recently.

Spark Art was a recipient of a grant totaling $5,500 for the Phenix City Art Park.

“We are working to create a space where the Chattahoochee Valley can come together to celebrate art. Art is an important way to create bonding within our community and we strive to be the relentless force behind supporting local art and artists. The Phenix City Art Park will be a place where artistic talent is allowed to flourish and our community can experience art in fun and unique ways. The Phenix City Art Park will be the first outdoor gallery play place of its kind in the area, and we hope it will help generate economic growth in our Riverfront District,” Spark Art founders explained.

The Art Park will have fun, interactive art instillations. The Art Park Committee and Spark Art will commission local artists to help create instillations, interesting seating, play ground equipment, adult swings and more.

“With raised funds, we want to create an environment where artists can flourish and the community can come together to celebrate art,” a fund raising page explained.

Spark Art is working in collaboration with TROY University, 2WR, Positively Phenix City, Uptown Columbus, The Columbus Museum, and Artbeat of Columbus to make the project a reality.

“Selecting the projects to support through these programs was definitely as hard as we thought it would be,” acknowledged Covington. “Each of our selection committees put in many hours to determine which projects most closely fit the criteria and funding priorities. This is money that people have entrusted to our Community Endowment Fund as a way for them to give back to our community in perpetuity, so we’re extra careful with it!”

The awarded projects from each grant program were chosen by that program’s respective selection committee.

“At the Community Foundation, we administer many different types of funds. Of those, our Discretionary Funds are the most flexible in that our board can use the Funds’ income every year to address needs in the community … both now and 100 years from now,” Covington explained.

Discretionary Grant Program

Nine projects, including the Phenix City Art Park, were selected to receive grants totaling $79,500 in funding from the Discretionary Grant Program.

For the second year, the Discretionary Grant Program is investing in projects that align with one or more of three action areas outlined in Columbus 2025’s strategic community and economic development plan ( These action areas include: An Enterprising Culture, Talented, Educated People, Vibrant and Connected Places.

Each of the Discretionary Grants awarded requires a 50 percent match, meaning that half of the funds awarded by the Community Foundation must be matched with cash or in-kind donations.

Fund raising

In addition to the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley grant, Spark Art started a fundraiser on IOBY, a crowdfunding platform made just for nonprofit organizations, so they can raise money for community projects. Visit the fundraising site at