Skip to main content

The Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts has been awarded a Cultural Facilities Grant by the Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA), a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

The GCA received 39 Cultural Facilities Grant applications from arts organizations and municipal arts facilities across the state. The Turner Center was one of only 10 entities in nine counties statewide that received a grant through the 2022 program.

The Turner Center will use the grant to fund a nearly $55,000 construction project for the Glass Art Studio, located at 506 N. Ashley Street. The Glass Art Program, one of the Center’s newest program offerings, will include glassblowing, stained glass, fused glass and glass beads instruction for youth and adults through weekly and monthly classes, which begin on Nov. 16. The art of glassblowing is not available within a 2-to-3 hour drive; and, it is difficult to practice locally, unless one has the equipment, experience, and a safe location in which to practice the art. The Glass Art Studio meets the needs and interests of people in our community.

“The work of our arts organizations is vital as recovery from COVID-19 continues, and by ensuring that the facilities where art and cultural events occur are in good condition, Cultural Facilities Grants will allow these organizations to focus on their primary mission,” said Georgia Council for the Arts Executive Director Tina Lilly. “We are happy to announce this funding, which will not only help support work of our grantees as they reconnect and engage with Georgians of all ages, but aid in the economic vitality and vibrancy of our communities.”

Grant applications were reviewed by Peer Review Panels, which included fellow professionals who are experienced in the arts discipline or type of grant being reviewed, or are Georgia citizens with a record of involvement in arts activities, experience, and knowledge.

“This Cultural Arts funding propels us forward as we grow the Turner Center Campus for the benefit of our local and regional artists and patrons, many of whom will use these ancient art skills for personal economic benefits,” said Executive Director Sementha Mathews. “Furthermore, the Glass Arts Studio will breathe life into an old vacant facility, will restore this part of our gateway into the downtown corridor, and will be a testament to how creativity can positively impact an entire city block.”

In addition, Mathews said the grant stimulates the local economy through the involvement of many such as Bobby Walther of JTB Contracting, Architect Richard Hill, Consultant Bill Sineath, Spencer Dawkins of Glass Pro, Ace Electric, Waller Heating & Air, Platinum Roofing, Miller Hardware, the City of Valdosta, Home Depot, Lowes, General Rental Center, and others.

Funding for Cultural Facilities Grants is provided through appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly. Georgia’s creative industries have a reported $62.5 billion impact on the economy, generating roughly $37 billion in revenue and accounting for about 200,000 jobs in the state.

For more information on nearly three dozen programs offered through the Turner Center, visit or call 229-247-2787.