By Altimese L. Dees, Editor
Clayton County is blessed with many ‘artists-in-residence’ — painters, singers, dancers, writers, musicians, and storytellers who enliven the community and awaken our creativity.
Arts Clayton understands the unique power of art — and works ‘to enrich lives through the arts.’
“Artists bring out ideas and emotions, says Arts Clayton Director Linda Crissey. “They stimulate discussion and creative problem-solving while creating captivating art.”
Arts Clayton offers a showcase for local artists at its spacious Main Street gallery located in the heart of Clayton’s historic district, across from the old Courthouse in Jonesboro. It creates educational opportunities for all ages through workshops, summer art camps and the STEAM program with schools.
More than 15,000 young people experience Arts Clayton each year, discovering new talents and new ways to express themselves. “They become aware of their community and the value of collaboration,” says Crissey. “That’s essential for tomorrow’s leaders.”
The economic benefits of art are proven. Art drives foot traffic in downtown districts and adds neighborhood vibrancy as people stroll with family or friends, supporting the area’s businesses such as cafés, souvenir shops, and boutique clothing stores. Research by the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania shows that ‘arts and culture are significantly linked to better health, schooling and security.’ The study also reinforces ‘the power of art to shape communities.’
Communities bond through art as people encounter new experiences. “You naturally start talking with others when you encounter art,” Crissey says. “You relate differently – separate from the daily concerns of life or work. It’s stimulating.”
“Art combats isolation,” Crissey says. “It shows us our connection to each other. It inspires us to become better neighbors and citizens.”
Arts Clayton has been going strong for over 30 years, supported by public-private partnerships, community partners and individual members — who are rewarded with studio access, notices about special gallery pricing, and annual members-only events.
Arts Clayton’s dedication and impact demonstrate why each of us should embrace the arts by supporting arts organizations and artists, attending events, and spreading the power of art throughout the community.
Support Arts Clayton and take advantage of all the benefits that it has to offer. Learn more at artsclayton.org.
Scenes from the 2019 Juried Fine Arts Show and Competition