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Turner Center Receives GCA Grant to Promote Southern Blues Culture

By July 19, 2018No Comments

Exhibit to be Featured in a Gallery Opening Reception, on July 30

The Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts is the recipient of the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) project grant to raise awareness of blues musicians and their music that have shaped our unique American culture. The cultural collection will be a featured exhibit in the free Gallery Opening Reception held at the Turner Center on July 30, from 5-7 p.m.

The regional arts center was one of 132 organizations throughout the state who were collectively awarded more than $1 million in funding, and one of 36 organizations to receive a project grant, which includes appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts for fiscal year 2019.

The $6,200 grant, which was matched by the Price-Campbell Foundation, will fund a We are the Music Makers! photography exhibit in the Turner Center’s Sallie & Harmon Boyette Gallery. The 30-panel interactive exhibit features photographs taken over the past 20 years by Music Maker Founder Timothy Duffy. Exhibit attendees will be able to use their smart phones to access We are the Music Makers! audio and video clips that draw attention to the southern musical traditions of the blues.

The grant will also fund the Music Maker Blues Review concert on August 11, at 8 p.m., at the Turner Center. The Music Maker Blues Review is an all-star band of veteran musicians who have worked with Ray Charles, B.B. King, and Clarence Carter, to name a few. This lineup of performers will include Georgia natives Eddie Tigner, Albert White, and the “Empress of Atlanta Blues” Sandra Hall. A limited amount of tickets will be sold for this event, which will also take place in the center’s Boyette Gallery.

Both of these exquisite events are the productions of the Music Maker Relief Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports, promotes and sustains American culture music by partnering directly with the artists who make it. Their photography exhibit and musical performances have been revered across the nation for drawing attention to an important aspect of our culture and for the financial assistance they provide for struggling blues artists—of which most are over age 55 and earn less than $18,000 annually.

“We are proud to bring these high-quality and educational experiences to our communities,” said Turner Center Executive Director Sementha Mathews. “We invite those in our immediate and surrounding communities to enjoy the music that has made us. We thank the Georgia Council for the Arts and the Price-Campbell Foundation for their financial support and for helping us make this exceptional event a reality for the people we serve.”

The July 30 Gallery Opening Reception takes place at the Turner Center’s main facility, located at 527 N. Patterson Street, in Valdosta, and will also include a collection of Katie Dobson Cundiff’s visual impressions, the Empty Bowl “Fight Against Hunger” fundraiser, artwork by the Southern Artists’ League, the East African Artifacts and Fine European Porcelain collections.

For more information, call the Turner Center for the Arts at 229-247-2787 or visit