"If you connect them one time, you connect them for life," said Susan Wright (right), a member of the Sharptop Arts Association and Reinhardt Falany Performing Arts Center Advisory Council, during a four-county cultural arts initiative meeting. "It's all here-the facilities, artists, volunteers. Why can't this area be the Mecca for the arts!"
On June 23, 2010, the Pickens Arts and Cultural Alliance (PACA) brought together a group of arts council and historical society members from the counties of Bartow, Cherokee, Gordon and Pickens. They met at Reinhardt University to discuss bringing arts to the local region.
"PACA was fulfilling a Georgia Council for the Arts project grant requirement to organize and offer a regional meeting for community leaders in the visual and performing arts," said Amelia McIntyre, PACA director. "Dr. David Gregory [Reinhardt associate professor of music and president of the PACA board of directors] suggested we consider collaborating with Reinhardt. I thought that the four counties that meet near Reinhardt would be most likely to share common goals with each other and Reinhardt."
During the meeting, the group brainstormed about their goals, needs and resources to bring the arts of the four counties to one common area. Three major goals were developed for the regional consortium: to recognize Reinhardt as an art and cultural resource in the area, to support each county's community councils by accessing Reinhardt's resources, and to work together to make the region an art and cultural destination.
"The overall vision of the group is to create a ‘regional cultural arts collaborative' so to present an annual Celebration of the Arts event," said Jo Ellen Wilson, vice president for institutional advancement and external affairs. "This meeting was the first step in working towards that vision!"
Dr. Gregory added to Wilson's sentiments. "We must make sure that the enthusiasm of this group goes beyond just this first meeting; it has to go with us. We can't just talk about it. It's time for our communities to experience it!"
The group's next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, September 16, 2010 at the Harris Museum in Calhoun. For more information, contact McIntyre at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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