Welcome to the website of the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts, the jewel of Valdosta/ Lowndes County, GA! The Board of Directors of our parent organization, the Lowndes/Valdosta Arts Commission, Inc. (LVAC), joins me in inviting you to stay connected to the hub of cultural activities in our area.
We’re so proud that through great teamwork, unwavering resolve and involvement with the Ga Center for Nonprofits’ Momentum for the Arts program, we have formulated and implemented a five-year Strategic Plan to take us from 2015-2020! You can view this exceptional document on our website or we’ll be happy to provide you with a printed copy. We were lauded by GCN and GA Council for the Arts for our commitment and successful results.
A bit of history … Those of us who’ve been fans and supporters of LVAC for longer than a decade remember well the cramped quarters where the arts commission was housed before 2003. The LVAC Board and staff did some pretty amazing things in the “old turpentine building” near VSU just a few blocks north of our current location. But space limitations create … well, limitations! The need for more exhibition space, classroom space, office space, performance space, storage space … more SPACE had long been apparent and developed into a pressing issue.
When it became known that First State Bank intended to vacate its building at 527 North Patterson Street, the LVAC Board, chaired at the time by Patti Girardin, leapt into action. Help was obtained from various sources, including First State Bank Director and Georgia Senator Dr. Loyce Turner and his family. Patti says, “With a generous donation from the Turner Family, we were able to get the ball rolling and approach others to join in the effort. Without Loyce’s willingness to help us with that original contribution, I’m not sure we could have gotten the project off of the ground.” Funding from the Turners, the State of Georgia, City of Valdosta and Lowndes County, numerous grants, a multitude of companies and individuals, and a loan from First State Bank made the dream a reality.
The Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts was born. And here we are, thirteen years later, doing what we do best: celebrating and promoting the arts in our community! That’s our proclaimed mission, and we love the fact that YOU help us accomplish it.
To celebrate our ten-year anniversary in 2013, we mounted a debt-elimination campaign and paid off our mortgage of $89,667! A plaque bearing the names of our generous donors in that effort now graces the Center’s entrance wall just underneath the plaque listing the Board of Directors in 2003.
YOUR name could (and should) be shown on our beautiful teak Donor Wall inside the Center!!!
Guided by strong Strategic Plan initiatives, solid financial footing, resolute commitment to our mission and a vision of a stronger artistic community, we’re now positioned to …
… Shine brighter … grow stronger … launch new initiatives … reinforce our impact on quality of life … underscore our position as a community and economic development tool …stimulate appreciation for the arts … attract more young people … provide avenues for artistic expression … educate, arouse, motivate and inspire … WHEW!
Past, present and future, we’re here for YOU and your children and grandchildren/ guests/ friends/ business associates, for tourists, students and everyone else in the community. This is EVERYONE’s art center!
While our website is a good source of information for you, we invite you to visit us at 527 No. Patterson Street in Valdosta, to bask in the beauty of our facility and its contents. Our staff will welcome you, give you a tour if you’d like, answer your questions, direct you to a class or just leave you alone to enjoy the artwork, listen to stirring music, shop in our gift shop or savor the beauty of your surroundings.
We also invite your comments about our website. Like the art center itself, the site continues to evolve and change in order to publicize our events, educate our visitors and inspire a celebration of the arts. Please visit us often, both electronically and in person, and CELEBRATE with us!
-Cheryl Oliver, Executive Director