Johnson Cecnter expansion good for community

Published 10:54 pm Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A place to be creative.

That’s the vision of the Johnson Center for the Arts leaders, who plan to put a generous $50,000 grant to use renovating a donated space into classrooms, studios and an open-air art space.

The vision stems from the Johnson Center’s goal to develop and foster an arts community here in Troy and Pike County. Building on the success of its gallery, Studio and community programs, the center’s leadership has a vision for turning a nearby former barbershop into a vibrant, nurturing workspace and classrooms for students and teachers.

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The Annex, as the building is called, will house two K-12 classrooms, complete with all the amenities for teaching students or teachers; a large space dedicated to continuing education programs for adults; and workrooms, all of which can house art classes or programs for everyone from the youngest students to adults. The facilities will be available to school groups, homeschool groups, the public, college students … anyone seeking an opportunity to develop their creativity and learn more about the arts.

The renovations are being funded by a generous grant from the Daniel Foundation, and The Annex was sold to the Johnson Center by the late Corley

“Brother” Chapman Jr., who sold the building for $10 in hopes that it would be used to foster and develop the arts community here in Troy.

We’re glad to see this vision coming about, and thankful for the generous patrons whose support is helping making it possible.

We know that access and exposure to the arts is a vital component of a community, enhancing our quality of life; sparking creativity in young and old alike; and enriching our lives in some many intangible ways. And, we know that educational opportunities that complement and support school-based arts programs will be vital to tapping the next generation of artists and visionaries.

So we’re glad to see The Annex moving along, and the Johnson Center continuing to grow and develop.

It’s good for the arts and good for our community.