Arts Center volunteers recognized for dedication, hard work

Published 11:36 am Friday, September 19, 2008

Richard Metzger, executive director of the Troy Pike Cultural Arts Center, is quickly learning how folks in the Deep South spell “thank you.” BBQ.

The 85-plus volunteers, who gave of their time and talents to the Grand Opening of the Johnson Center on Sept. 14, were treated to a barbecue supper and a night of fun and entertainment Thursday at The Cultural Arts Studio in downtown Troy.

Metzger said there were several committees that worked diligently to make the Grand Opening a success.

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“Without all the volunteers, we could not have pulled it off,” Metzger said. “Volunteers are vital to the success of so many things and they were vital to the success of the Grand Opening of the Johnson Center for the Arts and will be vital to its continued success.

“We’ve heard nothing but positive comments about the Johnson Center for the Arts and the Andy Warhol exhibit,” he said. “The publicity that we have gotten from the Grand Opening will certainly be beneficial in the future.”

Marsha Gaylard, chair of the Grand Opening committee, said the barbecue was a way of saying “thank you” for the support, dedication and hard work of the volunteers and to also bring everyone together for a time of fun and fellowship.

Gaylard said the Johnson Center for the Arts is off to a fast start and the future of the Center looks bright.

“The publicity that we have gotten from the Grand Opening and the Andy Warhol exhibit has already generated interest from as far away as Birmingham,” Gaylard said. “The Johnson Center for the Arts has the potential to have a big economic impact on Troy. We want to concentrate on bringing tour buses to Troy to visit the Center. Richard is working with a lot of other galleries in an effort to put together an arts trail that will also include the Pioneer Museum of Alabama, Troy University and the many antique shops in the area. South Alabama has a lot to offer and Troy is quickly becoming a center for the arts.”

Gaylard, executive director of the Pike County Economic Development Corp., said a strong arts community is beneficial when courting businesses and industries in an effort to interest them in locating in a community.

However, that is secondary to the benefits that arts offer the citizens of all ages in a community. The arts broaden horizons and improve the quality of life of all involved, she said.

“We thank the volunteers who are dedicated to making the arts a vital part of the Troy and Pike County communities.”