The First Unitarian Universalist Church was among 23 organizations to receive grants last week from the Greater Columbus Arts Council for the third and final round of the 2009 Franklin County Neighborhood Arts program.

The First Unitarian Universalist Church was among 23 organizations to receive grants last week from the Greater Columbus Arts Council for the third and final round of the 2009 Franklin County Neighborhood Arts program.

A total of $21,800 in grants was made to the organizations under the initiative, which is "designed to increase community participation in the arts throughout Franklin County," according to the announcement.

The $1,500 awarded to the UU Church on West Weisheimer Road will help fund another round of concerts under the "UUniverse: Diverse Music You Want to Hear" project.

Northland High School was again listed on the church's application for the grant as an "outreach location" for the program. The application to the Greater Columbus Arts Council further states that one of the purposes of the project is to "increase (the) availability of quality professional performances in the Northland area."

Other outreach locations listed in the application include the Chamber Music Connection of Worthington, the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center and the YWCA Family Center.

This is the second year for the concert series by the resident chamber ensemble of the First Unitarian Universalist Church, according to artistic director Lea Pearson.

All musicians in the ensemble are members or friends of the church, Pearson added.

The series features chamber music by composers not normally represented in concert performances.

Last year's series, for example, featured works by female, gay and Hispanic composers, the latter in honor of the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor as the first U.S. Supreme Court justice of Latin heritage, Pearson said.

"There is so much chamber music that needs to be heard, beyond the 'old Masters,' " Pearson said in the announcement of October's final concert in the 2009 series. "In keeping with our community's social justice commitment, we want to showcase our exceptional musicians in a series that honors central Ohio's diversity and cultural heritage."

The 2010 "UUniverse" project will open on Thursday, Jan. 21, with works by African-American composers.

The other two concerts, the dates for which have not been set, are to feature compositions of Asian and Arab composers, Pearson said.

"The Franklin County Neighborhood Arts program assists neighborhood and community groups with specific arts projects in all disciplines, provided they are offered to the public," according to the grant announcement. "Programming that actively provides access to the arts for people of all cultural backgrounds, economic status, sexual orientation, age and physical ability receives priority consideration."

The Franklin County Neighborhood Arts program is funded by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners and is supported by a donation from Ashland Inc.

Each year, GCAC awards three rounds of grants as part of the program.

In 2009, GCAC awarded $58,454 to 59 organizations.

The deadline for the next round of Franklin County Neighborhood Arts grants is Friday, Feb. 26. GCAC will hold two workshops to help organizations with their applications. The first workshop will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2, at the King Arts Complex, and the second workshop will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, at GCAC's offices, 100 E. Broad St.

To receive an application, contact GCAC by calling 224-2606, by e-mailing Oulanje Regan at oregan@gcac.org or by visiting www.gcac.org to download the guidelines and application form.

kparks@thisweeknews.com