Impact 100 Baldwin County Awards $90,000 Grant to Fund Eastern Shore Art Center’s “Access 2 Art”

Impact 100 Baldwin County Awards $90,000 Grant to Fund Eastern Shore Art Center’s "Access 2 Art”


The Eastern Shore Art Center is pleased to announce a grant award of $90,000 from Impact 100 Baldwin County to fund renovations to the teaching academy.

The funded project, called "Access 2 Art,” includes both exterior and interior renovations. Bryant Whelan, Executive Director of the Art Center, said that everyone at ESAC is thankful to Impact 100 for this important funding. "We are excited and ready to hit the ground running with much-needed upgrades,” said Whelan. "This exciting grant award allows us to reach several goals, including enhanced access to the facility, increased safety, and the ability to offer virtual learning.” The project includes the addition of an ADA compliant wheelchair ramp and motorized automatic doors. "Our Academy students struggle to enter the current doorways while pulling wagons of supplies and art to classes. This will also provide easier access for those with ambulatory issues,” she said.


The "Access 2 Art” project also includes a total revamp of one of the teaching studios, including a new virtual learning media lab. Academy Director Reanna Watson is particularly enthusiastic about this opportunity. "The pandemic has challenged us to re-evaluate what the community needs from the current studios and to find new ways to reach our students. As public and private schools make do without physical field trips, the Art Center will now be able to offer pre-recorded, affordable virtual art lessons for virtual and home-schooled students,” said Watson. "Studio 2 will be transformed into a bright, multimedia visual arts lab and upgraded to be safer with easier access to studio facilities. Teachers will be able to conduct and record multi-faceted lessons for art students of all ages and capabilities.”


The studio will be equipped with recording tools, new tables better outfitted for social distancing, new storage cabinets, studio lighting, handicap accessible shelves and sinks sized for both children and adults. Watson said that Studio 2 also has a rich history of being home to our Community Outreach Program, led by Nancy Raia, for over 20 years. "This program has historically served the disabled, school students, senior citizens and

veterans. However; with stay-at-home and social distancing orders in place, connecting with these populations has been challenging, as physical contact has not been possible. The new virtual learning media lab will allow programming to be filmed to reach those underserved populations virtually,” said Watson.


Grant plans also include creating a small reception area at the Academy entrance as well as the installation of new, more durable flooring in the hallways. Plans are already underway to begin construction before the end of the year.



For more info, contact: Adrienne Clow, Marketing Director at or 928-2228 ext 103. Visit, Facebook, or Twitter for daily updates!

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