Center attempts to meet ‘cultural arts deficit’ here in Fayette

Tue, 03/20/2007 - 4:00pm
By: Letters to the ...

As you are probably aware, there is a cultural arts deficit in Fayette County. Our non-profit organization is working hard to alleviate the visual, literary and traditional folk art part of this deficit.

Communities such as this, bursting with educated and successful business people, realize how important creative thinking, problem solving and visually expressing ideas are.

We should not be the only county in metropolitan Atlanta without an art center or a gallery, especially with a population such as ours.

Buckhead alone has 85 galleries. Every contiguous county has an art center.

So why not us, especially when we have the highest average educated household and the highest average household income in the state? And what about our children’s exposure to the arts when the schools keep cutting back on the visual arts?

A strong art community is what defines an area. Having strong cultural arts programs not only betters the quality of life for the people, but is draws tourist (economic dollars) and helps differentiate a place from the rest of urban sprawl. It also draws home buyers and businesses looking to relocate.

An art center also provides a place where creative minds can congregate.

In keeping with our mission statement of bringing the community together through the arts, we promote our location as “A Home for Creative Minds.” We offer a substantial variety of classes/workshops, lectures, social events, book readings & signings plus monthly changing art exhibits.

Furthering our community service, we continually develop an extensive art library with books, videos and DVD’s, both bibliographical and instructional.

We feel empowering independent thinking and research is as important a component of an art center as providing instructors. We often work hand in hand with the Fayette County Library and hope to work with the Peachtree City Library.

Due to phenomenal talent residing in Fayette County, we also started a cultural arts museum with a permanent collection of books by local authors and art by local artists.

To further be of assistance to our culturally underserved, we will be offering bus trips to the High Museum and Atlanta Symphony. We can work with Girl and Boy Scout troops earning art and literary badges. We provide “art therapy” for children residing in Promise Place. We send ambassadors to public schools and churches to give lectures and/or give demonstrations.

In order to facilitate better networking among writers, photographers and artists, we initiated the formation of several new cultural arts guilds, clubs and societies.

Another community need we have addressed is providing a database of musicians and performers so the public has one-stop access to their phone numbers and email addresses.

If every family interested in furthering their art, photography, ceramic or literature education became a member ($35 a year) or donated whatever they felt essential, we would be able to expand as needed as well as bring in nationally known experts to lecture/teach.

During these early years, it is our hope that local businesses, corporations, city and county governments will partner with us and help fulfill our mission. It is only by our community pulling together that we can replace a cultural void with a vibrant arts community.

Please note: We are not in competition with the YMCA project as they are focused on the performing arts. Hopefully, in the future, we will merge.

Kathaleen Brewer

Executive Director

Fayette Arts Center and Gallery

Fayetteville, Ga.

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