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The Huss Foundation celebrates 1st year of kickstART

AMERICUS — The Huss Foundation announced its “kickstART” program for local artists, craftspeople, performers and writers nearly one year ago. kickstART seeks to identify and aid local creative people who wish to build a business or otherwise sustain themselves with their artwork, products or performance. While the Americus and Sumter County community is rich with talent, local artisans often struggle to build a base of operation within the economy. The Huss Foundation believes it is crucial to assist in making artistic expression self sustainable in the community and economy. A vibrant artistic and creative community contributes to everyone’s quality of life, provides a destination for tourism, helps revitalize downtown and improves the local economy.
Hannah Hendricks, a 23- year-old artist from Atlanta who currently attends Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) in Americus, became the first recipient of kickstART’s $1,000 grant as well as the opportunity to curate the Huss Foundation Artists’ Gallery. Hendricks made immediate use of the grant money in support of her artwork and has continued to be a prolific creator over the last year. Her work has been shown and sold at Center Stage Market in Downtown Americus as well as the Foundation’s gallery.
The responsibility of curator for the Artists’ Gallery has been the most impactful aspect of Hendrick’s participation in the kickstART program. As curator, she is responsible for organizing and securing local artists on a monthly basis for exhibition. These monthly shows are launched on the First Friday of each month in conjunction and support of downtown Americus’ First Friday events. Openness, engagement and community are key components of the Huss Foundation’s mission. To foster these ideals the foundation provides free food and drinks to anyone who walks through the gallery doors on First Friday. It’s hard not to feel welcome at the Huss Foundation when you’re sharing a free beer and hot dog with others. Hendrick’s work to include artists from many different backgrounds helps keep the exchange of ideas vibrant and the Artists’ Gallery’s attendees diverse.
Hendricks says of her time working with The Huss Foundation, “My time spent working with the Huss Foundation as the recipient of the kickstART program has been one of the highlights of my time spent here in Americus. Because of them I have been enabled to gain experience with curating and managing a gallery space, and have been able to build up relationships with other local artists. As a working artist, I can say that what the foundation stands for is important in its dedication to helping artists grow, and I have been truly lucky to be able to play a part in it.”
Over the next month, Hendricks will be working with The Huss Foundation to search for the 2019 kickstART program recipient while preparing for her Senior Show, the culmination of her studies at GSW. Her Senior Show is open to the public and will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 29 in the James Earl Carter Library Gallery on the GSW campus. After her show and successful completion of her degree, she will begin the transfer of the Artists’ Gallery curatorship to the new recipient for 2019.
The kickstART program is organized and operated solely by The Huss Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) private foundation. The primary mission of The Huss Foundation is to promote Humankind’s free thought, artistic and creative expression in the pursuit of happiness.