Saturday, September 17, 2016

Aw shucks!

We recently received very welcome news from the Community Foundation of Central Georgia. The Knight Fund for Milledgeville has awarded Andalusia a $10,000 grant to support the 12th Annual Bluegrass Festival. The Knight Foundation’s giving program “believes the arts help build community by binding people to place and to each other. Done with excellence, the arts inspire and connect people.” Well, thank you! We strive here to undertake everything we do with standards of excellence that continue to lift up this small non-profit with big ideas. In turn, our goal is that the community’s experiences with the farm are frequent and memory-making. As the festival moves into its 13th, 14th and 15th year (and beyond), we hope it is an event that is anticipated and embedded in the community calendar. This and other strategies contribute to making Andalusia a true community asset. That said, we live at the intersection of the local and the global. The majority of our visitors come from outside the five country region in which we are located. Since opening to the public in 2003, we have received over 46,000 visitors from 49 US states and 16 countries. This year’s attendance exceeded last year’s, and that was more than the year before. So…we are doing what we are doing to lay a foundation of engagement for the long haul, to encourage people to use the property, to participate in our programs and partner with us. It is a fact that a place that is loved is supported. The Knight Foundation understands that people and places go together. Their support for our festival helps us concentrate on the things that matter: creating a quality experience, inviting people to enjoy it and to understand this place is here for them. It is also true that preservation is meaningless without people: to engage with the property; with Flannery’s genius and the themes she explored; with history and the lifeways we are in danger of losing; and with nature…all 500+ acres of it wedged between Walmart and the car dealership on GA Hwy 441. Won’t you join the Knight Foundation and show your support as well? Our Annual Appeal ends September 30th. Please do what you can to ensure Andalusia Farm is here for future generations and donate here now. No gift is too small or too large!

Elizabeth Wylie is the Executive Director of Andalusia Farm. 

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