SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — A local nonprofit has been awarded a prestigious honor. The Deep Center was named a Southern Cultural Treasure by South Arts.

South Arts’ inaugural cohort of Southern Cultural Treasures is a $6,000,000, four-year initiative supporting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-led and BIPOC-serving arts and cultural organizations throughout the Southeast.

The cohort is made up of 17 organizations that represent decades of BIPOC arts and
community-driven stewardship throughout the nine-state region that includes Alabama, Florida,
Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

“It’s an honor to be a part of the Southern Cultural Treasures initiative,” said the Director of Public
Policy and Communications, Coco Papy. “The support and community provided by this program
will continue to bolster the affirming and healing cultural work our amazing staff do day in and
day out with young people and adults here in Savannah.”

The 17 Southern Cultural Treasures were chosen after completing a vigorous application and interview process. Other finalists include: Alabama Blues Project, Huntsville Community Drumline, Spady Cultural Heritage Museum, Inc., Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe of Florida, Inc., New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Inc., Walltown Children’s Theatre, Blues City Cultural Center, and Hattiloo Theatre.

“South Arts is honored to recognize and support these 17 organizations as Southern Cultural
Treasures,” said Susie Surkamer, South Arts’ President and CEO. “These groups push the boundaries of creative expression, anchor their local communities, and advance the arts in our nine
state region. Our hope is that this initiative, with the help of these organizations, will foster a
more equitable art community throughout the Southeastern region.”

The program will run through March 2025 and provide each organization with up to $300,000 of general operating grants distributed over three years, an additional project grant of up to $7,500, customized consultant services, networking, cohort building, and knowledge sharing.