Welcome to the website of the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts, the jewel of Valdosta/Lowndes County, Georgia. The Lowndes/Valdosta Arts Commission, Inc. (LVAC) Board of Directors and I invite you to stay connected to the creative and cultural activities hub for our region.
We’re so proud that through great teamwork, unwavering resolve and involvement with the Ga Center for Nonprofits’ Momentum for the Arts program, we are diligently working through a five-year Strategic Plan to take us through 2020. Lauded by GCN and the Georgia Council for the Arts, we are committed to the successful results of our efforts.
A bit of history … Those of us who have been fans and supporters of the LVAC for longer than a decade remember well the cramped quarters where the arts commission was housed prior to 2003. The LVAC Board and staff did some pretty amazing things in the “old turpentine building,” located near VSU just a few blocks north of our current location. However, 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.
“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 Turner’s willingness to help us with that original contribution, I’m not sure we could have gotten the project off of the ground.” – Patti Girardin
Funding from the Turner’s, 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. Fifteen years later, we continue doing what we do best: celebrating and promoting the arts in our community. That is our proclaimed mission, and we love the fact that YOU help us accomplish it.
To celebrate our 10-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 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 the diversity of people who make up our community, provide avenues for artistic expression, and educate, arouse, motivate and inspire.
Past, present and future, we’re here for YOU. 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 N. 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 would 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 to celebrate the arts!
Sementha Mathews, Executive Director