FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Fayetteville State University (FSU) is getting a big investment to help expand performing and fine arts education. Officials say the funding is a pivotal step in offering quality arts education to people of marginalized backgrounds in the Sandhills.
Officials say FSU's $600,000 grant will not only broaden its arts education in for students on campus. It is also going towards music and arts programs in Cumberland County Schools and to performances and exhibits at the university.
"We wanted to be very intentional because we have dancers here, we have musicians here. We have great, great talent in that area here that we really wanted to make sure that we spotlighted," said FSU Chancellor Darrell Allison.
"Part of this is to bring the university closer to the community and to invite all to participate not just in the classes that are here, but in the community opportunities to mix, have some fun..." said Nancy Cable, the executive director of the Kenan Charitable Trust.
The Kenan Charitable Trust is awarding Fayetteville State the money for its College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The college's dean says that despite their value, the performing and fine arts are often overshadowed by stem and business programs.
"This grant is going to be transformative because what we're going to be able to do is offer scholarships, buy band instruments, hire faculty to teach cutting edge classes, host performances, and become much more visible on the campus community, but also the Sandhills community..." Dean Marcus Cox said.
Shawn McNeill of the university's marching band says he's eager to see the new music technology the grant will bring to the college. He also says it's crucial to invest in arts education for young people of color.
"We're the future," McNeill said. "(W)e will come back and serve at this institution or serve in the community and or school systems in some way, shape or form."
University officials say they hope this investment will inspire the next generation of creators and artists--enriching the culture of the Sandhills.