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ART Station Celebrates Over 30 Years of Providing Quality Art Programs to Stone Mountain

By Marina I. Jokic

The primary mission of ART Station is to make art accessible to citizens of all social, cultural, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. To that end, the center provides approachable cultural and educational opportunities to the residents of Stone Mountain and the surrounding community. The various arts programs focus on regional and national artists. Alex Powers, Development Associate at the center, says that the arts should always be a part of everyday life and not just an isolated event.

ART Station has been providing quality arts programs to the community for thirty-one years and counting. The organization was founded in 1986 by Artistic Director David Thomas, who gathered a group of artists, government, corporate and community leaders from the Atlanta community to form the ART Station Contemporary Arts Center and Theatre Company. The group completed a 3.5 million dollar campaign to purchase and transform what was then a Trolley Car Barn into today's center.

In Powers' view, the arts provide an important forum for members of the city to come together and discuss issues that affect the entire community. Not only that, but the arts give us with the ability to tap into our creative energies and channel our passions, frustrations, and any other emotion into something beautiful and dynamic. For these reasons, Powers says, art should always be a priority for every community, on par with any basic government service.

ART Station keeps the artistic spirit alive in the community through the help of their top notch arts programming: professional theater series, five gallery spaces, educational programs including summer arts camp, performance companies, and adult arts classes as well as their Monday Lunchtime Learning series. So far, the center's portfolio includes an impressive 250 plays and musicals. They have an upcoming performance, "GRITS! Girls Raised in the South: The Musical," created by Erica McGee.

Pictured Above is the ART Station's Cabaret Seating

They also provide a yearly storytelling festival featuring ghost tours. There are two ghost programs: "Tour of Southern Ghosts," a longstanding and hugely popular one; and the "Stone Mountain Village Ghost Tours" that started in 2015 and takes place in Stone Mountain Cemetery. There are also three other haunted locations inside the City of Stone Mountain. To peak our interest, Powers says that local legend has it that one can see a flashing red light on the railroad tracks that cut through the city on a hot and humid summer night. Of course, people love to be spooked so the tours are a big hit.

"Our summer camp has been hailed as the Juilliard School of Summer Camps," proudly adds Powers. Participants are involved in a myriad of different activities, designed to hone their strengths while expanding their group of skills. Students create handmade pottery and wheel thrown pottery and different pieces such as pastels, acrylic paint, and mixed media. Participants can also partake in method music classes and creative dramatics classes.

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About The Author

Marina Jokic holds a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College in Russian and East...

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