Johnson Center marks ‘new vision’ (PHOTOS)Published 9:27pm Wednesday, May 21, 2014
The Johnson Center for the Arts embarked upon “A New Decade of Vision” with a gala luncheon in the Center’s Main Gallery on Wednesday.
Patrons of the arts, artists and art enthusiasts gathered to celebrate the arts and the dawning of the New Vision for the Johnson Center.
Vicki Pritchett, center director, said an event is looming on the horizon that will bring both honor and recognition to the Johnson Center for the Arts.
“The Alabama State Council on the Arts has selected the Johnson Center as the site for its annual meeting on Sept. 3 and 4,” Pritchett said. “I hope everyone here realizes the importance of this selection and the honor it brings.”
Pritchett said many of the grants the Johnson Center and other arts organizations in the county receive come from the ASCA.
The announcement brought an extended round of applause from the guests.
Pritchett laughingly said the luncheon was also the first of many-to-come “lectures” to be held at the Johnson Center.
The first in the “lecture series” included short presentations that focused on the role the arts in general and the Johnson Center in particular play in the community.
Marsha Gaylard, Pike County Economic Development Corporation president, said the Johnson Center for the Arts plays an important role in the recruitment of business and industry to Troy.
Gaylard said, the Johnson Center was a factor in CGI’s decision to locate in Troy.
“There were a lot of reasons CGI decided to locate here and the Johnson Center was one of them,” she said. “When businesses and industries are considering places to locate, the arts often play an important role.”
Gaylard said the arts provide avenues for economic development, enhance education and offer enrichment opportunities for people of all ages. And those contributions are “huge.”
Kathy Sauer, Pike County Chamber of Commerce president, said the Johnson Center is not “just” a museum. It is a “premier” museum.
“The Johnson Center for the Arts is an important attraction for the City of Troy,” Sauer said. “The Johnson Center attracts visitors to Troy so it’s a source of revenue. It’s a teaching tool and it bridges the past to the present and artistic minds to the future.”
Ginny Hamm, a docent at the Johnson Center, said a docent is simply a volunteer and an appreciation for the arts is all one needs to become a docent.
“You don’t need a background in art to be a docent,” she said. “If you have an appreciation for the arts and a desire to introduce children to the wonders of art, then you can be a docent.”
Hamm encouraged the luncheon guests to consider volunteering as a museum docent and, in so doing, foster the arts among young people.
Pritchett said the mission of the Johnson Center is to enrich the lives of people of all ages through the arts.
“As we enter this ‘New Decade of Vision,’ we want the Johnson Center to be a true cultural arts center,” she said. “We want this museum to be filled with events – art, music, dance. We want to renovate our classrooms in the Annex and to see the courtyard become what it was planned to be. The Johnson Center has the potential to be a performing arts center and perhaps a dinner theater. But, to do all of these things, we need financial support.”
Pritchett said one way to support the Johnson Center and its ‘New Decade of Vision” is through membership.
“A local family has offered to match the money that we raise through memberships from now until Sept. 30 up to $10,000,” Pritchett said. “That is a very generous offer and we appreciate it. We encourage all of those who are supporters of the arts to become members of the Johnson Center for the Arts.”
Memberships begin at $30. The highest level of support is the Sponsors Circle platinum membership at $5,000. Other Members Circle levels of membership are from $100 to $500 and Sponsors Circle memberships are $1,000 and $2,500.
For more information about memberships or to become a member, contact the Johnson Center at 334-670-2287.