Excerpt from the 30th anniversary celebration of 2009 –
“In 1976, inspired by the United States Bicentennial, area residents began to dream of bringing the Arts to Emanuel County. When a local group met to explore the possibility of a Savannah Symphony concert in Swainsboro, they also began to make plans to establish an agency for the arts. On April 25, 1979, the Emanuel Arts Council was incorporated. In August 1979, Emanuel Arts Council sponsored “Oklahoma” as its first production and fundraiser.
Just a few of those early organizers were Thelma Kilpatrick, Christie Kinsaul, and LaNelle Durden. Kilpatrick was the artist who worked with the lawyers to organize the financial aspects for incorporation. She is a musician, dancer, and retired music teacher from Swainsboro Elementary School. Kinsaul, a retired music teacher from Swainsboro Primary School was involved with ‘Oklahoma.’ Durden, who lives in Twin City and plays the piano, began with Emanuel Arts from its inception as it reached out to involve the whole county. Durden remained active with Emanuel Arts for over 30 years.
Thelma Kilpatrick once said ‘We knew the community needed an Arts Center so people would have an outlet to the arts for participation and entertainment. We all cared because we loved the arts. We got people who were qualified in their area so that they did what needed doing’. She went on to say, ‘We laughed, cried, sewed, painted, scratched our heads, and WORKED- we did whatever it took to make things happen. We were passionate!’”
The vision of the arts in the community continues to evolve with the times. With a Board of Directors that remains active and passionate still today, the Emanuel Arts Council will continue to provide art and cultural activities, enrichment, and education in all areas of the arts, for the general betterment and benefit of citizens of Emanuel County and surrounding areas.
Art: The Bridge Between Dreams & Reality
EAC: Giving citizens of Emanuel County the tools to build their own bridges!