Art outreach programs that connect with the community and help children could be on the chopping block in Bibb County.
The Arts for Services Grant funding, slipped through the cracks during the service delivery strategy last year, and now the grant could be in jeopardy for fiscal year 2013.
The beat of drums or the melodies of the Nutcracker; both can captivate an audience, but when it comes to budget season the arts often times become expendable.
"It's one of those things that just sort of got lost in the shuffle between the agreements between the county and the city," said Macon Arts Alliance Executive Director Jim Colman.
Coleman talks about 32-thousand dollars the city used to provide for arts for services grant program. In 2011 the grant served 15 separate art programs and Colman says the numbers speak to their wide reach into the community.
"About 35,000 people either participated or attended the events that were directly funded by this grant so basically it costs the local government about 85 cents a person," said Coleman.
The grant paid for an African drumming program at Brookdale Elementary, the education programs of the Macon Symphony Orchestra and helped Bibb Students go to the nutcracker for free. Many of these programs were reduced or dropped all together when the grant funding vanished in fiscal year 2012.
"We have seen a huge dip in attendance from Bibb County Schools and part of that reason is we're just not able to bring in the same funding," said Betsy Fitzgerald, the Executive Director for the Grand Opera House.
Fitzgerald oversees GrandKids, an education program that introduced arts to more than 100,000 middle Georgia students since 2001.
Jim Coleman says while art funding has consistently reduced over the years, its importance remains the same.
"It's very difficult to have a community that does not invest in things like recreation, arts, They're all tied together, test scores, drop out rates, pregnancy, all these things are tied together they don't exist in a vacuum," said Coleman.
Coleman says the grant money does not help the arts alliance and nearly all of the funds are redistributed for programs.
Macon City Council declined to pay the $32-thousand grant for this year, saying that would set a bad standard for the service delivery strategy moving forward.
Coleman requested that Bibb County consider reinstating the grant funding for fiscal year 2013.