Now’s the time to support the arts

Published 10:52 am Thursday, September 11, 2008

There’s no finer time to celebrate the arts in Pike County than now.

On Sept. 14, the Johnson Center for the Arts will host the official opening of the Andy Warhol exhibit. The much-anticipated exhibit brings the works of this iconic pop artist to south Alabama and gives us a rare opportunity to view first-hand the art of a man who inspired a generation.

The exhibit, which opened to the public Sept. 1 and continues through Nov. 15, offers a glimpse into the type of art and programs we can bring to Troy and Pike County, thanks to the vision of the dozens of volunteers who led the charge to save the old Post Office and renovate it into this fine center. With generous funding from patrons and supporters, as well as visionary leadership, the Johnson Center promises to bring the world of arts and culture here to our doorsteps.

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Sharing a similar mission of enriching the lives of Pike Countians is the Troy Arts Council, the venerable organization which for years has delighted its patrons and the community with hundreds of exceptional performances, from plays to concerts, and support of the arts programs, in schools and throughout the area.

The TAC is in the midst of its annual patron’s drive. This month, community members can become patrons of the TAC and, in return, secure tickets to a year’s worth of programs, including the upcoming Experience Asia Performance & Art Festival Ronin Taiko Drum Concert on Sept. 20. Other “prime time” concerts are the “First Baptist of Ivey Gap” in October, Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance” in November, the American Spiritual Ensemble in January and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra Concert and the Kandinsky Trio featuring Andy Irwin in March. And, of course, the Arts Council showcases more talent in the Sounds of the Season and Sheila Jackson and Co. Christmas concerts, a spring community musical and the spring community band concert.

In addition, the TAC is a supporter of TroyFest in the spring and provides scholarships and grants to art and music students and school programs throughout the area. All of this work is funded, primarily by the patrons who support the council.

While the TAC and the Johnson Center are separate entities with clearly defined roles, they complement each other and work together to enrich all our lives.

So celebrate the arts … by becoming a patron of the Troy Arts Council and by visiting the Johnson Center. Both deserve our wholehearted support.