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As this year draws to an end, I find myself inventorying exactly what got accomplished in 2011. The fact that the year is ending almost seems like a colossal error. Wasn’t it just a few days ago that it was one hundred and one degrees, 98% humidity and the millions of gnats were the perfect excuse not to work in the yard? I will soon be in Wisconsin for the holidays and will most likely be shoveling piles of snow off my parent’s long driveway, fondly missing those minuscule creatures encircling my head.

I am always grateful when another month goes by and all of the Arts Center bills are paid and the doors remain opened. The fact that the Colquitt County Arts Center has weathered one of the worst national economic periods in our country’s history and is serving our community handsomely speaks volumes. There has been no shortage of great art exhibits, fantastic plays, music programs and dance lessons.

One of my favorite programs every year is the United Way Summer Fine Arts Camp. This six-week arts extravaganza continues to grow and the hundreds of children that participate come from every corner of Colquitt County. The same can be said for one my other favorite programs; the senior art class that meets every Tuesday morning. This is also a United Way sponsored art class and this group of ladies continue to paint fantastic works of arts while enjoying a rewarding social event. These two programs alone make the Arts Center a complete success in my opinion, and I will always be grateful to our United Way of Colquitt County for making them possible and so affordable to participate in.

The Moultrie Service League remodeled an unruly storage room next to the children’s Kaleidoscope Museum. This space has become a new bathroom for the kids to use along with storage cabinets, a sink, refrigerator and ample counter space for organizing art projects. The Kaleidoscope Museum is the destination for every second grader, from all ten elementary schools, to learn about art history. This is also a great space to use for your next birthday party or any other gathering of kids. Call the Arts Center if you would like to see this space and to get details about securing it for your next children’s party. The ballroom and the halls of the Arts Center have been painted due to the efforts of Moultrie Service League and the assistance of the Colquitt County Arts Center Foundation. So many people have commented on how nice the Art Center looks thanks this fresh coat of paint.

An old construction debt has been put to rest by two generous foundations that felt it was time to remove this burdensome monthly bill from the Arts Center’s budget. This was one of the greatest things to happen for the Colquitt County Arts Center in many years, and I want to thank each and every person that made this possible.

The success of the Colquitt County Arts Center is owed to hundreds of people from our community. The Patrons and donors that contribute financially are the lifeblood of this community arts facility.

The board members that continue to donate their time and energy are always appreciated. Our monthly board meetings also seem to have more pleasant committee reports resulting in more smiles and fewer frowns than in years past.

The many students that take art, music, theater, dance and other classes every week help to keep the Arts Center strong and vital.

The members of ACT (Arts Center Theater) continue to devote their time and impeccable talents to bring quality local theater to our community. The “1776” play was amazing as was every other production that was presented.

And to everyone that selected the Arts Center as a destination for social and professional gatherings, I thank you also. The revenue generated from space rentals is very important to the monthly budget.

Civic organizations such as the Arts Alliance members that are currently working on the Annual Hunt Dinner, scheduled for Feb. 3 of next year, deserve a huge “thank you.” These groups of ladies are either recovering from the last event that is the single largest donation given to the Arts Center every year or they are planning for the next wild game feast and auction.

All of the ladies that created the beautiful quilt that raised almost $1,200 this fall outdid themselves this year. Their act of kindness has become an annual fall tradition that many people look forward to.

Four computers were donated, by the Kiwanis Club, loaded with an imaginative art program called Bamboo. This donation has helped to make future art projects available to 21st Century artists. The computer has become an art tool similar to paint brushes and pencils for today’s artist.

And last, but certainly not least, the staff of the Arts Center continues to give 110% to keep it all running. The environment of the Arts Center is somewhat unique. It requires educated and creative individuals that are not afraid of manual labor and unpredictable hours. You need to be a business professional that knows how to use a mop at any given moment or the ability to make a number of things stop leaking.

I have not even come close to listing every positive endeavor that contributed to making this a fantastic year at the Arts Center. The good fortune of the Colquitt County Arts Center is a reflection of the good people that call this part of the world home. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.     

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