Two arts projects vital to Augusta

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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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TechLover
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TechLover 01/11/09 - 08:01 am
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Unfortunately art is at the

Unfortunately art is at the bottom of the totem pole. It's much more important to have dozens of soccer and baseball fields. Sports are evidently the only thing recreation departments consider as recreation.

raptcontemplation
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raptcontemplation 01/11/09 - 09:15 am
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The gift of an elevator for

The gift of an elevator for handicapped children would be a lovely gesture for Jessye Norman to give to the school named for her.

shamrock
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shamrock 01/11/09 - 10:20 am
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"Arts" is great and should be

"Arts" is great and should be considered .. after we get the jobless rate back down and families finances back to something higher than the third world country we are becoming. Apparently Mr. Johnson has no concerns so he can worry about a luxury item.

story1
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story1 01/11/09 - 10:58 am
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Well said, Mr. Johnson. In

Well said, Mr. Johnson. In the mid 1970s, Atlanta's Fox Theatre was slated for destruction, to the extent that a wrecking ball had already been chosen to kiss the side of the building. The Fabulous Fox Theatre was saved by local supportive residents and a non profit organization, Atlanta Landmarks. A restored Miller Theatre will help right the ship for this beautiful river city!

sprintman
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sprintman 01/11/09 - 12:11 pm
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Both of those are good

Both of those are good projects and should be taken into consideration. Arts, music, keep alot of kids focus in school and most end up doing better. Than if they weren't exposed to the arts. I like what Augusta has done with the new mini theatre building. Looks great!

sprintman
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sprintman 01/11/09 - 12:13 pm
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You should attend as many

You should attend as many commissioners meetings as possible and tell them what you think. People have to get out there in the open and be loud and vigil about what they want in Augusta. Close mouths don't get feed.

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 01/11/09 - 01:00 pm
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"it was then that I realized

"it was then that I realized how unfortunate it is that Augusta does not have a first-class center for the performing arts." ----- Bubba doesn't understand Bach, let alone opera. Closest he can probably get to it is some Oscar and Hammerstein or Gilbert and Sullivan production. Would also like to see some visual art exhibits covering the spectrum, more so than the usual Southern fare.

karmakills123
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karmakills123 01/11/09 - 01:55 pm
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In a truely "dedicated to the

In a truely "dedicated to the Arts city" this is a wonderful idea and a great community project ...local citizens donating their expertise (plumbers...electrictions...monied folkes donationg money....weekend projects for Art major students)...but alas this is Augusta .. and of course the Art scene mentality is just not here....sad

sprintman
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sprintman 01/11/09 - 02:40 pm
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Karmakills123 I think the art

Karmakills123 I think the art scene is here in Augusta. It just needs to be given a chance to come out in the open. Look at how many people showed up for last year's 10 day Westobou festival. Look at how many people attend the Arts in the heart festival every year. The arts community is here it just needs more venues. The miller theatre would help alot in that regard. Artist row on broad street is a perfect example of the talents in Augusta.

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 01/11/09 - 04:37 pm
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Sandybubba I'm sorry you

Sandybubba I'm sorry you don't understand Bach. Try it some time. We have some of the finest organists in the world here and invited here. Try Reid Memorial's Sunday service. It's on Walton Way. Have you been to our local museums? Especially the Morris Museum of Art. Have you visited the Art Galleries on Broad Street? Did you here the tenor during the St. Paul's with Augusta Opera Chorus Christmas Concert? Try the Davidson Chorale, they're high school students and aren't even professionals, but I suspect they'll outperform some of your favorites. You just have to know where to look.

workingmom
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workingmom 01/11/09 - 04:53 pm
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sprintman, I attended a small

sprintman, I attended a small part of the Westobou festival and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I hope they do it again next year. I love almost any kind of music. Opera does nothing for me, unfortunately. I have tried to listen but it bores me to tears, although I can appreciate those who perform it. I do agree that Augusta needs a quality performing arts theater for any and all types of musical performances.

BakersfieldCityLimits
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BakersfieldCityLimits 01/11/09 - 08:33 pm
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I thought that maybe having

I thought that maybe having enough police and firemen to work the streets would be more important than a publicly funded art house. Sooner rather than later Richmond County will implode and the real state of affairs will be known. The constant opening of parks and day centers for non-taxpayers are all over the county sucking up tax dolllars that are rapidly drying up. While we build gilded halls for the plutocrats to rule in, the unseen underpinings of the county are compromised by neglect. Beleive it.

SandyK2005
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SandyK2005 01/12/09 - 01:58 am
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"I thought that maybe having

"I thought that maybe having enough police and firemen to work the streets would be more important than a publicly funded art house." ----- "A man does not live by bread alone". We seek things in life to inspire us, rich or poor; Black or White. Art is such a venue. All great civilizations incorporated Art into their cities (be it the fresco painters or sculpture artists in Rome; to the Renaissance painters and musicians), long before there were even cops and firemen (both 19th century inventions). Augusta needs an Art district, as much as 1001 restaurants and baseball fields.

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