Augusta Offers Opportunities to Expose Your Children to Arts and Culture
Nestled along the banks of the Savannah River, Augusta, GA, is the second-largest city in Georgia. Like many cities, the city has experienced a notable cultural revival in recent decades. As a result, there are many opportunities to expose yourself and the children in your life to the arts.
Westobou Gallery, located on Broad Street in downtown Augusta, is a newer art gallery. It features primarily contemporary and experimental artists, but it also offers a rotating schedule of local newcomers and prominent nationally-recognized artists, so you’re certain to find something to peek any interest. Beyond its own four walls, Westobou is on a mission to bring arts and culture to Augusta, hosting a yearly week-long arts festival. The festival’s events happen each fall at various venues around Augusta, with various price points and event sizes. Some of the events – including the Chamber Music Series – are free and happen during the day, making them a great way to expose your child to different types of music without staying up past bedtime.
Another familiar source for visual arts in Augusta is the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, located downtown on Telfair Street. It originally opened in 1937 and is housed in Ware’s Folly. The Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, now offers year-round art classes for students of all ages – including adults – as well as art exhibitions.
Two other places in Augusta can expose your children to the unique art of pottery – Tire City Potters in downtown Augusta and Artsy Me in nearby Evans. At each business, you and your child can paint pieces of pottery. After painting, the pieces are fired in a kiln and ready to be brought home and displayed as evidence of your artistic adventures. Tire City Potters is also a fully-functioning pottery studio, so your child may get to watch the pottery wheel in action and witness the creation of a pottery piece first-hand. Tire City Potters also offers pottery lessons for adults, by appointment only.
We’ve highlighted opportunities to experience the visual arts, but there are also multiple places in Augusta to introduce your children to the performing arts. This includes James Brown Arena, Bell Auditorium, Miller Theater, Imperial Theater, and the Maxwell Theater at Augusta University. Because of the size of the venue, Bell Auditorium typically hosts nationally-known musicians and performances, such as Broadway on Tour or children-oriented traveling performances, such as Disney on Ice. Miller Theater holds a special place in Augusta history. The theater originally opened in 1940, and it hosted a variety of performers and musical acts for more than 40 years, finally closing in the mid-1980s during a period of economic downturn in the downtown area. Community leaders in the arts community spearheaded years of fundraising. After raising the necessary funds and completing an extensive renovation, the theater reopened in spring 2018, ready to introduce a new generation to the wonder of the live arts.
Augusta is also host to another yearly arts festival known as Arts in the Heart. During the weekend-long event, attendees experience a variety of artistic performances, hands-on activities and shopping options, including art for purchase from local-area artists, a variety of musical performances, and a huge array of international cuisine. The festival includes a kids area, with kid-oriented activities, such as face painting and hula-hoop juggling. Mark your calendar for September, and be sure to buy your tickets in advance from a local Augusta business to save on admission.