fiddle fest

The annual fiddle festival in Payson combines several concerts with competitions the last weekend of September.

The Arizona Commission on the Arts has awarded the Payson Old Time Fiddlers Contest and Acoustic Celebration a $3,000 grant.

The event, in its 49th year, celebrates the musical heritage of pioneers. It takes place Friday through Sunday, Sept. 27-29 this year.

The grant is one of 260 the commission, an agency of the state of Arizona, made earlier this month to organizations and programs throughout the state.

The Payson event, The Vertielee Floyd Memorial — Old Time Fiddlers Arizona State Championship (National Qualifier), Old Time Opry and “Fiddle’in Band Competition” incorporates three days of family fun.

It includes old time, western, gospel, and bluegrass music concerts, old time fiddling and band competitions for all ages, camping and jam sessions.

Payson’s grant for the fiddle festival is part of more than $2.63 million awarded to nonprofit arts organizations, festivals, and education programs throughout the state. This represents the allocation of 75 percent of the Arts Commission’s annual grants budget, with several other grant programs running throughout the year.

Grants were awarded via three distinct programs:

Festival Grants support organizations in their efforts to provide quality arts and cultural programming through community festival activities. 40 Festival Grants were awarded, totaling $107,000.

Strengthening Schools Through Arts Partnerships Grants support substantive school/community partnerships that strengthen teaching and learning in arts education and/or arts integration in Arizona Title I schools. This year’s awards, totaling $62,840, provide a second year of support to four previously-funded partnerships.

Community Investment Grants provide operating support to nonprofit arts organizations, local arts agencies, and tribal cultural organizations whose mission is to produce, present, or teach the arts, and/or to provide arts-based services. 216 Community Investment Grants were awarded, totaling $2,463,000.

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