Sherry Foster, Editor Augusta Magazine
photo by Chris Thelen
In the minds of most Augustans the arts and cultural season kicks off with the Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival, September 14-16. And I must agree. I’m also happy to relay that the festival will be staged again this year in the Augusta Common and along Broad Street—a format that was widely applauded by festival-goers and vendors as the best ever. Now if we can just duplicate last year’s weather it will be heavenly.
Arts in the Heart notwithstanding, from the point of view of the magazine staff, the cultural season gets into full swing in June and July as we start working on our Arts Calendar. It is a formidible exercise, but one that never fails to impress me with the sheer number and variety of ever-increasing cultural events and performances Augusta has to offer. Be sure to pull it out of the issue and keep it on your coffee table so you won’t miss a single thing.
In a particularly exciting turn of events, the Symphony Orchestra Augusta board in June unveiled a grand and wonderful plan to restore and renovate the Miller Theater into a 1,300-seat performing arts hall suitable for music, dance, film and drama. And if that isn’t dazzling enough, there will also be a music institute, which will surely energize downtown every day, not just weekends and days when performances are scheduled. The excitement at the standing-room-only press conference announcement was palpable and contagious.
A few miles away in Evans, the Lady Antebellum Pavilion was inaugurated last year with a performance by the city’s own Grammy Award-winning Lady Antebellum. Management of the new venue has wasted no time scheduling events ranging from big-name headliners to family festivals, which makes it the perfect complement to the cultural offerings at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center a short distance away.
Another hallmark of the opening of the arts season is the Westobou Festival. Now in its fifth year, the festival will focus on a separate aspect of the cultural arts each of its five days. With the Old Richmond Academy as home base again this year, the event promises to be more exciting and provocative than ever. For a more detailed description of all that awaits be sure to read our cover story by Jim Garvey (click here) as well as a schedule of festival highlights (here).
All this is just the beginning of the cultural season. The pages of this issue are packed with enticing opportunities to go out with friends and family and experience the arts in Augusta. There is much to be proud of.
- Sherry Foster • Editor Augusta Magazine