Last-minute shopper? No time like present to support local arts

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If you’re still trying to find the perfect holiday present, consider giving your loved one the gift of the arts. Here’s a list of local arts-related holiday gifts for the last-minute shopper.

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Aiken Community Playhouse, which staged The Great American Trailer Park Musical in the spring, offers "admit one" tickets that don't expire and can be transferred to another show season if your theater-lover has a certain performance in mind.   MICHAEL HOLAHAN/FILE
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/FILE
Aiken Community Playhouse, which staged The Great American Trailer Park Musical in the spring, offers "admit one" tickets that don't expire and can be transferred to another show season if your theater-lover has a certain performance in mind.

ART

MORRIS MUSEUM OF ART MEMBERSHIP: Art lovers will enjoy spending the afternoon viewing the latest exhibits.

“Of all the gifts you may give this season, a membership to the Morris Museum of Art is one that can never be lost, broken or forgotten,” said Blake H. Leverett, the membership services coordinator for Morris Museum of Art.

“It’s the perfect gift for your children’s teachers, your parents or your grown children. And above all, your gift supports the preservation of art and culture for generations to come.”

Morris Museum of Art offers different membership levels and perks. Members receive free admission, a 10 percent discount in the museum store, invitations to members-only previews and events and more. For more information, call (706) 724-7501 or visit themorris.org/join.html.

GERTRUDE HERBERT INSTITUTE OF ART: Give aspiring artists gift certificates for art classes. Either choose a specific class or purchase a gift certificate in any amount to be applied toward any class. For more information, call (706) 722-5495 or visit www.ghia.org.

SACRED HEART CULTURAL CENTER: Give original art this holiday season. Shoppers can choose from pieces by local artists in the gift shop.

Choose from pottery and water colors by Ann Marie Dalis, pottery by Jimmy Menger and prints, originals or reproductions by local artists, including Nancy Schultz, Lucy Weigle, Judy Avrett, Panny Force and others, said Judy Evans, manager of the gift shop and art hall.

There’s also a section of books by local authors, including Charmaine Brackett, former mayor Bob Young, Karin Gillespie and Stan Byrdy. The Sacred Heart Cultural Center gift shop is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 1301 Greene St.

HISTORY

AUGUSTA MUSEUM OF HISTORY: This is the perfect gift for history buffs. Purchasing a membership can help to preserve the legacy of the oldest historical agency devoted to preserving and presenting local and regional history, said executive director Nancy J. Glaser.

Members get free admission for one year, invitations to members-only exhibition previews and programs, member discounts on family and public programs and more, Glaser said.

Augusta Museum of History has different levels of membership. Learn more at www.
augustamuseum.org.

LUCY CRAFT LANEY MUSEUM OF BLACK HISTORY: Visitors must buy tickets at the door for this museum, but there are some great gifts in the museum’s online gift shop, from books, handmade purses/jewelry boxes, commemorative plates, ceramic mugs and afghans/throws. For more information, visit www.
lucycraftlaneymuseum.com.

MUSIC

SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AUGUSTA: Give the gift of music with tickets to the symphony.

“You’re encouraging or fostering that person, loved one or friend to get out and enjoy a treasure in Augusta,” said Carolann Utley, the director of marketing and PR. “This is a gift that keeps giving in that it creates a memory and an experience that will last a lifetime. Yes, you can get them an iPhone or an iPad and it’s great, but then it becomes obsolete in three years. Whereas a Beethoven concert will be a memory that you can share with the person that gave you that ticket forever.”

Tickets are available for the entire Columbia County Music Series. Three shows are $45.

Or, shoppers can take advantage of the Compose Your Own series deal, which ends Friday, Dec. 21. The Compose Your Own Series allows patrons to select four concerts from the Symphony Series, Pops! At the Bell and Columbia County Music Series. Tickets for the series are $50. The offer is open to the public and has a limit of four per person.

To purchase tickets, call (706) 826-4705, visit the office on the second floor of Sacred Heart Cultural Center or visit soaugusta.org. When purchasing the Compose Your Own Series online, use the code “CYO.”

BIG BAND MUSIC: For those who love the sounds of the Big Band era, tickets to two upcoming shows might be the perfect gift.

Augusta Amusements will present the Glenn Miller Orchestra on Jan. 11 in Evans. Tickets are $37.50 and $32.50 from augustaamusements.com.

Or make a plan to be in Aiken for All Hands on Deck!, a stage show based on Bob Hope’s 1942 USO tour. Tickets are $40 from www.APAGonline or call (803) 643-4774.

12 BANDS OF CHRISTMAS CD: Purchase the latest 12 Bands of Christmas CD at 12bands.org. Funds from the CD support pediatric cancer patients.

Volume 9 costs $10 and features songs by Jeremy Graham Band, Tara Scheyer and the Mud Puppy Band, Black Swan Lane and J.A.M.P. The CD is also available at local retailers, including Cotton Patch, Soho, Surrey Center Pharmacy, Rivers and Glen, Angevine’s Fine Silver, Moes in Evans, Turner’s Keyboards and Somewhere in Augusta.

FROSTY CHRISTMAS CD: If you’re a jazz music lover (or always try to hear Mike Frost Jazz on Thursday nights at Red Pepper Cafe in Aiken), then pick up their new holiday CD Frosty Christmas.

CDs are $15, but through Dec. 31, you can order 10 or more for $12 each. Order or have a listen at from mikefrostjazz.com.

DANCE

AUGUSTA BALLET: Buy advance tickets for upcoming ballet performances as a holiday gift. Augusta Ballet is selling tickets to its March 16 presentation of Pilobolus. To purchase tickets, call (706) 261-0555 or visit www.augustaballet.org, said Courtney Murrah, assistant director of operations and media.

COLUMBIA COUNTY BALLET: If your loved one appreciates dance, purchase vouchers for future shows in advance. They can redeem the voucher by calling to reserve a seat when tickets for a show become available. Or, give your loved one gift certificates for dance classes. For more information, call (706) 860-1852.

THEATER

THE AUGUSTA PLAYERS: Give the gift of theater.

“Supporting a community theater that has been in the local area for over 68 years is a wonderful present for anyone,” said office administrator Kitty Reagan.

Tickets are available for The Augusta Players’ two remaining shows of the season, La Cage Aux Folles in February and The King and I in May. Prices range from $20 to $43. To purchase tickets, call (706) 826-4707 or visit augustaplayers.org.

AIKEN COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE: Purchase “admit one” tickets to Aiken Community Playhouse. These tickets do not expire and can even be transferred to another season, said theater coordinator Vivian Johnson.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $17 for ages 60 and older. To redeem their ticket, the recipients must call to make reservations. To purchase tickets or find out about performances for the current season, call (803) 648-1438 or visit www.aikencommunityplayhouse.com.

LE CHAT NOIR: Purchase gift certificates to upcoming shows for a certain dollar amount, specific show or a subscription to the next season’s performances, said owner Kris Bailey.

The offer is available for all shows, from mainstage to children’s productions. To purchase gift certificates, call the box office at (706) 722-3322 or visit Le Chat Noir, 304 Eighth St.


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