Jonesborough awarded two grants totaling $130,000

Jessica Fuller • Feb 8, 2018 at 7:28 PM

Two state grants are headed Jonesborough’s way this year for building improvements and storytelling projects. 

The Jackson Theatre’s facelift will be helped by a $100,000 facade improvement grant from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. With reconstruction of the theater underway, this will help with the building’s signage, awnings, paint and any other repairs that come with redoing the face of the building. 

Mayor Kelly Wolfe said to expect to see these within the next two years, and the grant will speed the renovation process. 

“This announcement is great news for our community, and I want to congratulate our local officials and our citizens,” said Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough. “It is very exciting to know that our community will receive this important funding to help preserve our history and restore our buildings.”

“I am extremely grateful for this investment by TNECD in our treasured community,” Rep. Micah Van Huss, R-Jonesborough, said. “These grant dollars will help us update our landmark structures and create a new energy among our residents.”

The National Endowment for the Arts awarded $30,000 to the International Storytelling Center for Storytelling Live! the center’s teller-in-residence program. The program brings master storytellers from around the world to Jonesborough to make up a 26-week series. 

The NEA grant follows other grants that ISC has received from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the East Tennessee Foundation. ISC plans to aim its focus on reaching area youth this year, specifically those who are economically disadvantaged or in underserved communities, according to ISC President Kiran Singh Sirah.

“Storytelling fosters connection, creativity and innovation,” Sirah said. “When we can empower our young people to be the story they wish to see in the world, anything is possible. We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg of what storytelling can do. We want to build on our world-class reputation and establish our campus as a true center for dialogue and innovation. We strive for our headquarters in Jonesborough to be a beacon for hope and understanding as we all work to build a better world.”

Between The National Storytelling Festival and the Teller-in-Residence series, ISC is able to reach almost 30,000 attendees across the world, create 111 local jobs and add more than $7.6 million in annual economic impact.

Email Jessica Fuller at [email protected] Follow Jessica on Twitter @fullerjf91. Like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jfullerJCP.

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