Arts Affiliate Services
The Arts Council promotes over 30 arts affiliate organizations across Northeast Georgia. These organizations offer their own arts programs and events. In order to serve our mission, community, and our affiliates, The Arts Council provides the following services to its arts affiliates: The Arts Council creates a free e-newsletter containing an arts calendar and event information to subscribers, links and provides contact information on The Arts Council website, collaborates to co-sponsor events and arts programs and an Arts Affiliates community calendar; provides box-office services, central information center for the arts in northeast Georgia and social media promotion.
Our Affiliate Organizations
We are proud to feature our affiliate organizations:
Brenau University is a private liberal arts university. Founded in 1878, Brenau University has a rich and distinguished heritage of excellence in the fine arts. Brenau’s School of Fine Arts & Humanities is organized into 6 departments: arts and design, interior design, dance, music, theatre, and humanities. Brenau University is a center for the arts in north Georgia. On the Brenau University arts calendar, you will find information about events in dance, music, theatre, and the visual arts. Many of Brenau’s arts events are held in Peace Auditorium, one of the most elegant auditoriums in the south. The John S. Burd Center for the Performing Arts includes the Hosch Theatre, the Banks Recital Hall, and the Leo Castelli Art Gallery. All arts events are open to the public.
Brenau University Galleries
Established in 1986, Brenau University Galleries feature works by national and international artists, local and regional artists, as well as by Brenau University students, faculty and alumni. The Galleries are comprised of four separate exhibition spaces: the President’s Gallery is in the Simmons Visual Arts Center; the Sellars Gallery is located on the first floor of Simmons Visual Arts Center; the Leo Castelli Art Gallery is on the first floor of John S. Burd Center for the Performing Arts; and the Manhattan Gallery is located in the Brenau University Downtown Center. As a thoughtful and creative contributor to the northeast Georgia area, Brenau University Galleries have a reputation for excellence by presenting art that engages the world. All gallery exhibits and receptions are free and open to the public.
Chestatee Artists formed with a group of visual artists and fine crafters in 2011. In 2014, Chestatee Artists became a 501c3 organization. “Our mission is to support art education, to promote and encourage artistic expression among its members, and to further artistic talents in the community.” We present a members’ Chestatee Artists Show & Sale each Fall to promote our artist. Other opportunities for artists/crafters include Art in the Park during the Fall. We have sponsored several contests to link art with community issues by engaging school children in poster designs to promote problem solving. Our members also offer their time to bring art instruction to the students in our area, while also providing all necessary art supplies. Major purchases have included a clay kiln for one of our elementary schools, as well as hundreds of dollars for supplies for various local schools.
Our main fundraiser, the Dahlonega Arts & Wine Festival, presented the third weekend in May, allows us to purchase and donate art supplies and equipment for our local schools. The festival is also a venue that provides artists with an outlet to present and sell their arts or crafts creations. The festival highlights fine local wines and live jazz, as well as visual arts. Artists and other art lovers can apply for membership in Chestatee Artists by going to our website and clicking on “Membership.” Visit us on our Facebook pages for the organization and for the festival.
The Crawford W. Long Museum provides educational exhibits about the life and career of Dr. Crawford Long. It celebrates his discovery of the use of sulfuric ether to provide “painless surgery” on this site in Jefferson, Georgia on March 30, 1842. The three-building complex houses a medical gallery honoring Dr. Long with exhibits of personal family heirlooms, as well as displays showing the development of modern anesthesia. The Pendergrass General Store, built in 1858, illustrates the rural life and culture of the Piedmont Region. Please visit their website for operating hours and admissions prices.
The Cumming Arts Center/Sawnee Association of the Arts is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing a rich visual arts experience for Cumming and Forsyth County residents. It features an art galley and shop with exhibits rotating every eight weeks as well as monthly featured exhibits. Among our many members are painters in oil, water color, acrylic, and other media; potters, wood turners, 3D artists, photographers, jewelry makers and more. During the year, there are many opportunities to participate in shows, exhibits and workshops including an active children’s arts program. A well-equipped studio workshop is available for artists needing a place to work. Anyone interested in the arts program is welcome to attend our monthly meetings.
Dawson County Arts Council
Bowen Center for the Arts
334 Highway 9 N.
Dawsonville, GA 30534
The mission of the Dawson County Arts Council is to promote and cultivate an appreciation for the arts and the artistic spirit in Dawson County, and to give an opportunity to develop and encourage expression of individual creativity. Functions of the Center for the Arts include performing and visual arts events, classes in all of the Fine Arts, cultural history exhibits, and facility rental for meetings and receptions. The council’s vision is to provide quality arts programs and services designed to improve the quality of life in Dawson County, contribute to the cultural foundation of the community, create citizen involvement in the arts, provide Dawson County Schools and community groups with the resources to support the arts, and to make a positive impact on the economic development of the community.
Elachee Nature Science Center is one of the premier environmental education centers in Georgia serving over 35,000 students from more than 35 school systems and an additional 30,000 visitors to the museum and preserve each year. Located in the 1,500-acre Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve in North Georgia, Elachee is celebrating more than 30 years of building environmental literacy for Georgians through quality educational experiences, museum exhibitions, special programs, resources for schools and the general public and a Nature Academy, a fully accredited and licensed school offering pre-school and kindergarten–1st grade programs. Elachee’s curriculum is designed to develop a healthy ecological consciousness and includes preschool, elementary, and secondary education programs paralleling the Georgia Performance Standards. Other offerings include teacher education, summer day camp, special public programs, scout and home school programs, children’s birthday parties, and facility rentals. Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve serves as an invaluable outdoor classroom and is being preserved in a wilderness state.
The Gainesville Ballet Company (GBC), under the artistic direction of founder Diane Callahan, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation, study, and performance of dance as an art form to as wide and diverse an audience as possible in our northeast Georgia community. The relationship between the Gainesville Ballet Company, the Gainesville School of Ballet, and Brenau University spans more than 30 years. The tremendous volunteer efforts of dedicated individuals, small businesses, and corporations allow the Company to reach more than 6,000 children and 2,000 adults from 22 different counties across the state of Georgia and beyond. The board of directors, staff, and faculty are honored to bring quality dance to northeast Georgia, and to continue to be recognized as a leading arts organization within the state of Georgia. Dancers at GBC continue to train under company founder, Ms. Diane Callahan.
The Gainesville Music Club
The Gainesville Music Club’s objectives are to encourage the performance of music of American composers as well as others. The group hosts an annual Junior Festival with hundreds of students participating in piano, voice, string playing, and theory. Scholarships are awarded for study at musical camps and points are accumulated for gold cup awards. The final winners perform in a scholarship concert. Music teachers may also receive funds from the club to attend workshops in their areas of expertise. The club also promotes attendance at musical events throughout the area. The organization is divided into two segments under one president, the North Gainesville Club and the South Gainesville Club. The club has three to four meetings a year, usually commencing in the fall with a meeting and performance by area musical talent. Admittance to the group is open to anyone who has a love and desire for the advancement of music. There is an annual membership fee.
Gainesville Parks & Recreation
Administration offices – Gainesville Civic Center
830 Green Street, NE
Gainesville, GA 30501
The Gainesville Parks and Recreation Agency strives to inspire and sustain a passion for parks and recreation experiences that enhance the community’s quality of life. Mission statement: “The Gainesville Parks and Recreation Agency, through a coordinated effort, seeks to enrich the quality of life of the citizens we serve by providing safe and accessible facilities and a diversified program of activities in an effective, efficient, equitable, and responsive manner.”
This unique collaboration began in 1979 when the administrations and faculty of what was then Gainesville Junior College and Brenau College made the bold decision to join their resources to produce one, dynamic theatre program. Today, GTA is a nationally acclaimed collaboration of the University of North Georgia, Brenau University, theatre professionals and the northeast Georgia community.
The Georgia Council for the Arts has consistently ranked the Gainesville Theatre Alliance as one of the best arts organizations in the state, and GTA’s parent colleges were honored in the year 2000 for “Academic Excellence” from the American Council on Education.
As a unique, hybrid academic theatre program as well as a semi-professional performance company, GTA produces 7 to 10 productions annually, serving over 20,000 patrons annually from a 12-county region from Atlanta to the North and South Carolina borders. GTA’s active Guest Artist program keeps performance standards high, with guest directors, designers and actors providing students with dozens of mentors and professional contacts.
The response from the northeast Georgia community is evident; whether founding members of the GTA audience, young adults on a date night or recent retirees to the region with discerning theatre palates, GTA shows receive rave reviews and, with the combination of stellar production values and affordable ticket prices, performances often sell out.
Hall County Parks & Leisure Services
1086 Rainey Street
Gainesville, GA 30501
The mission of the Hall County Parks and Leisure Services is to develop, maintain and provide a variety of quality and affordable recreation opportunities and services for all residents in a courteous and efficient manner. 1,459 acres of park space, 24 parks, Community Centers, Historical Sites, Dog Park, RV Park, Walking Trails, Greenspace, Soccer Complex, and Chicopee Agriculture Center. In 2007, Hall County Parks and Leisure Services, an agency of excellence, was awarded Agency of the Year by District 7 of Georgia Recreation and Park Association (GRPA).
Historic Holly Theatre
69 West Main St.
Dahlonega, GA 30533
Located just west of the beautiful Dahlonega town square, The Holly Theatre has something to offer to locals and tourists alike. The Holly Theatre Company presents a year round season of classic plays and Broadway style musicals. The Holly Children’s Theatre program offers after school drama classes and productions created specifically with the entire family in mind. Whether you are visiting Dahlonega for the first time or have lived close by all your life, The Holly Theatre will impress you with their professional quality productions, excellent movies and reasonable ticket prices. We hope to see you soon at the Historic Holly Theatre! The Holly Theatre Community Center is a non-profit community arts organization. The center is sustained by ticket revenues, sponsorships and individual contributions.
Located just a short drive north of Atlanta, you will find a one-of-a kind unique, fun destination for the entire family. Interactive Neighborhood for Kids, Inc. (INK), located in Gainesville, Georgia, is a hands-on Children’s Museum where children can role play and learn through practical experiences about being a banker, grocery store clerk, doctor, dentist and much more. All exhibits are designed to provide a unique experience and to actively engage young minds (not to mention, it’s just plain fun!). INK’s exhibits stimulate curiosity, motivate learning and provide an atmosphere where families can connect in meaningful ways. Our visitors have a blast pretending to be a real firefighter on our 1927 American LaFrance fire truck; or imagine they are a pilot in our very own 1955 rebuilt AreoCommander airplane; or pretend to be a doctor, a nurse, a teacher or even a grocery store clerk! The things you can see and do at INK are unlimited! Plus, our museum is the perfect place for your child’s birthday party; a have a variety of packages are available just right for you! INK’s gift shop features Melissa Doug toys, plush animals, puzzles and many other educational items.
The Lake Lanier Convention & Visitors Bureau was founded in 1992 and serves the hospitality and travel industry. Lake Lanier CVB is the official destination marketing organization for the Hall County area which borders the eastern shoreline of beautiful Lake Lanier. With more than 1,500 hotel rooms, Gainesville and Hall County are major destinations for travelers to Northeast Georgia. The bureau is governed by a 22-member board of directors, comprised of representatives from the hotel, attraction, restaurant and business community. The bureau markets Gainesville, Oakwood, Flowery Branch, Lake Lanier Islands and other areas of Hall County throughout the Southeast and supports marketing of major events by its local industry stakeholders.
The Lanier Chamber Singers is a 38-voice mixed choral ensemble that presents four programs each concert season between October and May. LCS performs a variety of works spanning centuries of choral literature, including classical, folk, and popular music from the Renaissance to today. Under the direction of John LaForge, LCS is committed to enriching the cultural community of Gainesville and northeast Georgia by presenting concerts of the highest quality and promoting the extensive heritage of choral music.
The Longstreet Society
P.O. Box 191
Gainesville, GA 30501
The Longstreet Society is focusing its efforts on restoring General Longstreet’s old Piedmont Hotel, caring for his grave site and on educational projects. These projects include seminars, tours, other presentations and a very informative newsletter. Funding for these endeavors come from membership dollars, donations and LS merchandise sales. General Longstreet served with the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia from Manassas to Appomattox, with the exception of several months in 1864 when he was recovering from a severe wound he received in the Battle of the Wilderness. Shortly after taking command of the army in 1862, General Robert E. Lee entrusted Longstreet with the command of most of the army’s troops. For the duration of the war, Longstreet served with distinction as the army’s senior corps commander and was friend and confidante to Gen. Lee, who referred to him as “my old war horse.” Many military experts consider the command combination of Lee, Longstreet, Stonewall Jackson and J. E. B. Stuart to be the finest ever assembled on the field of battle.
Main Street Gainesville
P.O. Box 2574
Gainesville, GA 30503
Main Street Gainesville sponsors many events downtown throughout the year, so you can simply come on down with family and friends – enjoy shopping, dining, entertainment, festivals and more. Over the past eight years, Downtown Gainesville has undergone an amazing transformation. The heritage of our past has been preserved through historically accurate building restorations. Yet Gainesville – specifically the Downtown Square – has moved into the 21st Century with a beautiful streetscape, new exciting businesses (both retail and restaurants) and an entertaining and vibrant Downtown life! In a relatively short period of time, Gainesville has grown from virgin forest to become the trade, economic, industrial, medical, cultural and recreational center of Northeast Georgia. In Gainesville we believe there are no limits for our future.
North Georgia Barbershop Singers
Cumming Baptist Church
115 Church Street
Cumming, GA 30040
The North Georgia Barbershop Singers are a group of men dedicated to the harmony found only in Old Time Barbershop Singing. We are members of the Barbershop Harmony Society under the registered name of Lake Lanier Georgia Chapter, SPEBSQSA, Inc. (Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America) We love to produce that special sound and spread the joy of Barbershop Harmony throughout the five counties where our members reside. Men show up to sing and enjoy great fellowship each Tuesday meeting night at our home base in Cumming, GA from Forsyth, Dawson, Lumpkin, Hall and White counties. It doesn’t take long for new members of diverse backgrounds, to realize that they have joined a ‘brotherhood’ of men who love the Barbershop style and care for each other as brothers should. We are a rapidly growing group and welcome all male singers to join us in celebrating life by sharing our love of music with our families, friends and the entire North Georgia community. Rehearsals are open to the public, each Tuesday at 7pm at Cumming Baptist Church.
North Georgia Chamber Symphony
587 White Pine Drive
Dahlonega, GA 30533
The North Georgia Chamber Symphony is based in Dahlonega. Rehearsals are Tuesdays, from 7:00 PM -9:30 PM at Dahlonega United Methodist Church, from January to mid-May and from August to early December. The Chamber Symphony is and open to all string players in the area. Prospective members should call Betty Florence, 706-867-9444. An audition is required after two rehearsals and audition selection is from the rehearsed music.
The University of North Georgia was formed through the consolidation of North Georgia College & State University and Gainesville State College, two of the top-performing schools in the University System of Georgia, in January 2013. Positioned in the fastest-growing region of the state, UNG comprises five campuses united by a single mission focused on academic excellence and academic and co-curricular programs that develop students into leaders for a diverse and global society.
The School of Arts & Letters, the largest and most diverse academic unit at UNG, offers dynamic and challenging majors and minors in the arts, humanities and social sciences. The School of Arts & Letters also delivers the bulk of the university’s core curriculum courses. Arts aspires to provide liberal arts educational experiences which are congruent with the University’s mission and goals. Academic and studio instruction are provided in the areas of music, theater, and communications arts.
UNG’s Gainesville Campus is located in Hall County, an epicenter for trade, healthcare, education, industry, retail, and recreation for northeast Georgia. This area offers incredible career opportunities for UNG graduates. Known for its warm and welcoming atmosphere, Gainesville is rich in heritage and cultural arts with museums, historic sites, galleries, and theaters. Gainesville also hugs the shores of beautiful Lake Lanier, is a short drive from the Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Mountains, and is still convenient to Atlanta and major transportation corridors.
The Northeast Georgia History Center at Brenau University is a not-for-profit institution dedicated to promoting and displaying historical artifacts and displays from the northeast Georgia area from the past 150 years. The Mission of the Northeast Georgia History Center at Brenau University is to promote greater understanding of the cultural, social, economic, and political history of the Northeast Georgia Mountains Region. Permanent exhibits include: American Freedom Garden, The Land of Promise, “The Way It Was”, Sports Hall of Fame, The Legacy Tributes, and Chief White Path’s Cabin. The Cottrell Digital Studio takes the History Center into the classroom delivered as on demand downloadable/online viewing to help educators satisfy the state’s mandate to use technology learning.
The Northeast Georgia Writers held their first meeting on April 17, 1973, at Brenau College in Gainesville, Georgia.
Who We Are: NEGA Writer’s diverse membership ranges from professional freelancers and published authors, to writers aspiring to be published and those who write as a creative outlet. Members produce both nonfiction and fiction, including novels, short stories, poetry, plays, scripts, feature articles, and essays. Some work in specific genres such as romance, science fiction, thriller, fantasy, children’s literature, travel writing, or biography.
NEGA Writers strives to:
- Bring together aspiring, emerging, and established writers of all genres and disciplines
- Serve as an information and networking resource
- Help members make contacts that lead to publication
- Encourage writers to reach their full potential
The purpose of the organization is to foster good writing. Members are encouraged to send forth their written works, to keep writing, and to learn the joy of having written. The purpose is accomplished through regular monthly meetings, annual competition, conferences, and the publication of anthologies. Membership is open to all persons interested in writing.
Northwinds Symphonic Band
P.O. Box 1713
Gainesville, GA 30503
Conductor: Mercer Crook
The Northwinds Symphonic Band was organized in 1984 as a performance outlet for adult musicians, primarily music educators, in the north Georgia area. It occurred to Ron Evans, founder of the ensemble that many band directors and music teachers in the area were performing musicians on the instrument they studied. The ensemble has performed for the Georgia Music Educators on five different occasions, and it continues to perform a series of concerts throughout the year. The Northwinds Symphonic Band is now led by Mercer Crook and the roster includes band directors, both active and retired, music teachers, college students, professional musicians and several players who pursue an occupation outside the field of music. NWSB also brings to its community accomplished guest musicians and conductors.
Celebrating more than 60 years of unparalleled excellence in visual arts programming, the Quinlan Visual Arts Center is north Georgia’s premier arts organization. From humble origins as a sketch club and founded as the Gainesville Art Association in 1946, the Quinlan has grown into a well-respected regional arts organization known for its commitment to quality visual arts programming and educational opportunities. Located on historic Green Street in downtown Gainesville, the center is host to at least seven major exhibitions annually, workshops instructed by nationally and internationally recognized artists, a quarterly class schedule with courses in all media for both children and adults, summer art camps for kids, a museum-quality gift shop featuring original art created by local artists, and other special events for the community. Whether you are an artist, art appreciator, instructor, collector, or simply a student, the Quinlan Visual Arts Center is THE place to nurture your creativity in northeast Georgia.
Nestled in the Appalachian foothills of Northeast Georgia, the Sautee Nacoochee Community Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing creativity and committed to preserving and protecting the natural and historical resources of the Sautee and Nacoochee Valleys and the surrounding area. The SNCA maintains the Sautee Nacoochee Center, a thriving cultural and community center housed in a restored rural schoolhouse. The Center offers a Folk Pottery Museum, Theatre, Gallery, Art Studio, Dance Studio, History Museum, Heritage Site, Nature Preserve, Environmental Studies Room and Conference Facilities. The Association has established Sautee Nacoochee as an official Historic District and one of “The 100 Best Small Arts Towns in America.”
The Sounds of Sawnee Concert Band is a community band in every sense, and it is proud to now be established as a community resource. The band provides cultural enrichment for members of the community through regular concert performances. It provides a unique opportunity for musical expression for both distinguished musicians and amateurs alike, to further develop and refine music skills in a friendly setting. The band continually seeks to instill in all people an awareness of music’s important role in the enrichment of the human spirit. The band welcomes all people who share a love of band music and play, or have played a band instrument. Whether you are an accomplished musical performer or just someone that “used to play” years ago; whether you are young or just young-at-heart; whether you know all of John Philip Sousa’s marches from memory or if you barely remember how to play the B-flat concert scale, you are invited to take a chair at our next rehearsal and begin enjoying yourself.
Theatre Wings Endowment Fund
Gainesville Theatre Alliance
P.O. Box 1358
Gainesville, GA 30503
The Theatre Wings Endowment Fund was established in 1986 to guarantee the continued quality and service of GTA. Theatre Wings: supports Gainesville Theatre Alliance and WonderQuest and helps bring quality theatre to all of Northeast Georgia. The Gainesville Theatre Alliance produces work at the highest level because of the support of University of North Georgia, Brenau University and patrons like you. We usher, sell concessions, feed the students at “strike”, and socialize when an opportunity arises, among other activities. Your donations make possible our spectacular production values and professional guest artists. Your support assists hundreds of theatre students who have come to Brenau University and UNG to study, to train and to build a life in the theatre.
Truett McConnell University
100 Alumni Drive
Cleveland, GA 30528
Truett-McConnell College is a liberal arts, distinctively Christian institution that seeks to impact the next generation and, indeed, the world. The campus sits on 200 acres of prime mountain land one mile east of the town square in Cleveland, Georgia. After more than half a century as a two-year college, in December 2002, the institution was approved by its accrediting agency to offer four-year degrees. The Music Department is organized within the Fine Arts Division at Truett-McConnell College. The department is rooted firmly in a strong Christian and liberal arts tradition. It is committed to providing for each music student, an opportunity to obtain beginning and progressive musical training leading to a degree in music. In addition, it seeks to provide for the interested student, an opportunity to study music as one of the fine arts for the enrichment of his/her academic and personal life.
WonderQuest: GTA for Young Audiences
P.O. Box 2267
Gainesville, GA 30503
WonderQuest is Gainesville Theatre Alliance’s (GTA) Theatre for Young Audiences. WonderQuest is the only organization in North Georgia dedicated to offering professionally-produced theatre specifically for children and their families. WonderQuest is dedicated to lighting the fire of the mind. There are ideas and feelings that theatre creates for children that no other medium can. Not TV or video or computer — no matter how interactive — it isn’t alive. And when we combine that unique live element with literature — when we lift the story from the page to the stage — we empower children to find the same excitement in books… and in ideas. We have to kindle the fire. Each production is performed in the historic Brenau University opera house, Pearce Auditorium, for family audiences and over 7,000 students from schools throughout northeast Georgia. Gay Hammond is the Director for WonderQuest.