Two arts projects vital to Augusta

Quality of life activities are essential to the life and morale of a community. Cultural arts activities bring people from far and near to the community. If they come, they will spend money, and maybe they will stay: an economic impact for Augusta.

My wife and I recently attended a symphony concert at First Baptist Church. Even though the beautiful sanctuary was a reasonable substitute, it was then that I realized how unfortunate it is that Augusta does not have a first-class center for the performing arts.

Peter Knox's IV's generosity in donating the Miller Theater for use as a performing venue speaks volumes. If included on the county's upcoming special purpose local option sales tax list, funds would be used to renovate the building into an adequate, and large enough venue for the arts.

The project of the Jessye Norman School of the Arts, named for the native Augustan and international opera star, deserves to be included on the SPLOST list also, in as much as the mission of the school is to serve a very under-served and deserving population. Their project is to install an elevator to allow them to provide services to handicapped children and others who would visit the school. Without the elevator the school is unable to accept students with varied disabilities.

I hope the commissioners and citizens alike, realize what such projects provide for our community.

Ellis M. Johnson

Augusta

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