press releases

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December Delights!

The Averitt Center for the Arts has something for everyone this December! You can look forward to holiday music, laughter, gift shopping, and, as usual, plenty of chances to express yourself through the arts!

 

We will kick off the festivities with our Holiday All Fired Up Sale, December 1st-3rd. We hope you saved some of your holiday budget for this! 

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October brings lots of opportunities for art!

Temperatures are dropping and leaves are falling. Luckily, The Averitt Center for the Arts has a variety of events for everyone to enjoy and stay warm this fall!

 Check out this month's press release written by PR Intern Perla!

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Follow The Yellow Brick Road

to the Emma Kelly Theater

Over 50 local and area adults and children will bring Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man,
the Cowardly Lion, and the magical lands and residents of Munchkinland and Oz to life during the Averitt Center’s presentation of The Wizard of Oz on consecutive weekends in July. Directed by Averitt executive artistic associate Robert Cottle, this community-theater production features all the memorable songs and phrases from the beloved musical. The shows, which are slated for July 15-17 and July 22-24, also feature all the loveable characters from the legendary movie, which is owned by the Turner Entertainment Company and distributed in all media by Warner Brothers.


Tickets for the reserved-seat performance are $25 for adults ($20 for ACA members, active and retired military, first responders, city of Statesboro, and Bulloch County employees) and $15 for students. Curtain time for the Friday night performances is 7 p.m. while the Saturday and Sunday shows are 3 p.m. matinees.

Tickets can be purchased at the Box Office of the Averitt Center Main Gallery (open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday), by calling 912-212-2787 or online at www.averittcenterforthearts.org.
The Wizard of Oz is sponsored by Morris Bank and the accounting firm of Dabbs, Hickman, Hill and Cannon, LLP.

Find the cast and more by clicking below!

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March is full of various Downtown sights and sounds

Whether it’s old-school Southern rock or something that is visually stunning, a variety of sights and musical sounds will emanate from the Averitt in March.

 

The Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band Skynfolks will help you stroll down memory lane in the Emma Kelly Theater on March 19. Postponed from the original early January date due to COVID, the band returns to the Jan Brown Anderson stage this month.
 

“Gimme Three Steps,” “What’s Your Name,” “Saturday Night Special,”  “Sweet Home Alabama” and, of course, “Freebird” are just a few of the favorites that this group of talented musicians cover in exquisite detail.

 

If you missed this bunch of talented musicians when they first appeared in late 2019, you definitely don’t want to miss them now because they have only gotten better.

           

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Multicultural Art Exhibition at the Averitt Center

By Garrett Joyce         

Averitt Center Intern

Tameka Phillips, a first-generation American citizen who hails from New York City, explores multi-culturalism and ethnic identities in her exhibition, “Human/Abstract” which is on display through February 28 in the main gallery of the Averitt Center for the Arts.

           

The Georgia Southern University graduate made both 2-D and 3-D works that incorporate aspects of different cultures around the world.

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Metter dancer to star in ‘Nutcracker’

Many young ballerinas have dreams of dancing a leading role in one of the classic ballets. For Metter’s Tessa Salter, that dream is coming true as she has been cast in the role of Clara in Statesboro’s Averitt Center’s

2021 production of The Nutcracker.

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Wemberly Ponder to perform at the Emma Kelly

The ONE Series continues Sept. 24 with a performance by Statesboro native Wemberly Ponder.

Born to parents Sanford and Harriett Ponder, Ponder graduated from William James High School, as well as Georgia Southern University. He says that he was raised primarily by his mother, as his father was hospitalized throughout most of his childhood.

The family didn’t have a television, but Ponder and his mom often watched at a neighbor’s home. It was there that he was first exposed to classical music and piano — he watched a television show featuring two pianists when he was 5.

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Frozen fun in the Emma Kelly Theater

Over 30 local and area children will bring Elsa, Anna and the magical land of Arendelle to life in the historic Emma Kelly Theater for the Averitt Center’s presentation of Disney’s Frozen Jr. during consecutive weekends in July.

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All Fired Up! Holiday Exhibition, Sale spotlights local handmade art

Ceramics, jewelry, paintings and other fine arts make wonderful Mother’s Day presents and the All Fired Up! Holiday Exhibition and Sale has just what you need for that special gift.

The Roxie Remley Center for Fine Arts (31 East Vine St.) will be turned into a shopper’s paradise on April 29-May 1 as the Averitt Center Visual Arts Department and Georgia Southern University’s Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art (BFSDoA) teamed up to provide GSU art students with the opportunity to showcase and sell their artwork.

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Local dancers display the art of movement in Modern Dance performance

Ten local and area dancers will display their athletic abilities and artistic talents during “An Evening of Modern Dance” on April 2-3 at the Emma Kelly Theater.

Statesboro Youth Ballet members Ana Grace Evans, Annie O’Neill, Caroline Spivey and Janelle Spivey, SYB alum Laural Boyles and Madelyn Wolfe, and guest dancers Emma Vickers, Anna Coghill, Ella Warren and Jillian Ley as well as Averitt Center Director of Dance Taylor Ellen will perform in the 45-minute program which focuses on artistic expression through full-body movement. Evans, O’Neill, Boyles, Vickers and Ellen choreographed the pieces.

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March is full of various Downtown sights and sounds

Whether it’s a Disney favorite, gospel, rhythm and blues, or something that is visually stunning, a variety of sights and musical sounds will emanate from the Averitt Center’s downtown campuses in March.
Performances on the Jan Brown Anderson stage of the Emma Kelly Theater will be the One: Robin Holmes-Lanier (March 5) and Disney’s Newsies (March 25-28). A new Main Gallery exhibition, Beneath The Surface by Cyndy Epps, will premiere March 11, the monthly Paint-n-Party is March 12 at the Roxie Remley Center for Fine Arts and auditions for Dearly Beloved will be held March 13 at the Whitaker Black Box Theater. The fourth session of art education classes begins on March 22.

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New Year, Old Favorites at the Averitt

The New Year begins with some down-home country music as talented local singers Brandi Harvey, Christie McLendon and Rachel Elkins, a five-piece band and a few special guests will help you stroll down memory lane in the Emma Kelly Theater on January 7-10.
The talented trio and band will cover popular tunes from some of the most influential female artists of 1930s to the 1990s in the Lady Legends and Guests concert. The 30-song set includes music from The Carter Family, June Carter, Kitty Wells, The Davis Sisters, Patsy Cline, Wanda Jackson, Dolly Parton, Jeannie C. Riley, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Bobby Gentry, Lynn Anderson, Tanya Tucker, Barbara Mandrell and Reba McEntire.

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November

November is no time to be lazy here at the Averitt Center! With the chills and thrills of October behind us, 

We are ready to give our holiday gifts to you early! We’ve packed our events list with plenty of opportunities to get involved and let out your inner child. So hold tight to your hot coco and check out what's happening soon in the Averitt Center for the Arts.

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Comedy, Painting, Singing, and Dancing in September!

Belly-laughing comedy, inspired artwork, magnificent operatic tones, and colorful folk dancing highlight this month at the Averitt Center for the Arts. The first Barefoot Comedy show of the season comes to the Jan Brown Anderson stage of the Emma Kelly Theater on Sept. 1.

On September 8, the artwork of Elsie Hill Howington, a native of Savannah and an associate professor in the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art at Georgia Southern University will be on display in the Averitt Center’s Main Gallery.

Click below to read more interesting info about our September!

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Summer Camps at the Averitt are here

Monday, May 30 was the opening date for the annual array of Averitt Center Summer Art Camps. During the nine weeks of summer, there are 58 week-long camps for children ranging from three-year-old dancers to 18-year-old artists. There are two ceramics workshops for adults as well as one ceramics class.


Some of the summer offerings include:
Lego Camp, STEAM camp, Painting for Gamers, Art In Nature, Space Camp, Summer Ceramics Sampler, Lion King Kids, Modern Dance Camp, Camp 9 ¾, Mermaids and Pirates, Encanto Dance Camps, Magical Fairytale Camp and many, many more. For a complete list and descriptions of camps, visit our website at www.averittcenterforthearts.org/summer-camps.

The ACA Summer Art Camp program, sponsored by Synovus, provides kids from ages 3 to 18 with the opportunity to be creative, have fun, meet new friends and start or continue a life-long love of the arts. When you register your child or children for any of our 2022 summer camps, he or she will receive a free t-shirt with the Summer Camp logo emblazoned on the front. One free t-shirt per camper but additional t-shirts may be purchased.


To register, call the Averitt Main Desk at 912-212-2787 or Tony Phillips at 912-259-9228.
          

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February is FULL at the Averitt

February is chock full of local music, art and fun at the Averitt Center.

In mid-February, local personalities Christie McLendon, Rachel Elkins, Jenni Kight and Ashley Whittemore return to the Jan Brown Anderson stage of the Emma Kelly Theater in the community theater production of The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps and Gowns.

 

The wonderful musical comedy runs four nights in mid-February and features the sights and sounds of the 1950s and ‘60s. In 2019, the foursome brought the original show, The Marvelous Wonderettes, which is a nostalgic, jukebox musical comedy from Roy Bean, to the Emma Kelly stage. That show was so well received by the local and area community that the foursome decided to get back together to perform one of the three sequels.

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ONE: Series performers unite for holiday performance at the Averitt

By Angye Morrison             
Courtesy of The Statesboro Herald

 

The ONE: Series has become a tradition in the Boro, bringing some of the area’s most talented artists to the stage. During this holiday season, the artists that audiences have gotten to know during their solo performances will come together for a special holiday show.

Shaunta Ellis, Nora Franklin, Vivian Summers, Brandi Harvey, Eddie Frazier, Dr. Michael Braz, Donald Chavers and Robin Holmes-Lanier will perform on the Emma Kelly stage at the Averitt Center this month to ring in some holiday cheer. The show will feature each artist performing, but no interviews to get to know the artists, like during the earlier individual performances.

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All gave some, some gave all

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the American Legion Dexter Allen Post 90, along with the Averitt Center for the Arts and Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home, will pay tribute to the men and women, living or deceased, who served in any branch of the United States Armed Forces in the Emma Kelly Theater.

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Art Classes, Lessons offered at the Averitt 

The Averitt Center offers an exciting array of classes for children, teenagers and adults in dance, theater and visual arts as well as private-lesson instruction in music, dance and visual arts.
   Our instructors are practicing artists within their fields of expertise. These fun, informative, and creative programs are designed to build upon student achievement and growth. Come join the fun and learn something new. With over 40 classes to choose from, there's something for everyone at the Averitt.

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Jazzing it up with the Statesboro Chamber Orchestra

The Statesboro Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Aceto, will perform “An Evening in the Jazz Age” for its Spring Concert on May 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Emma Kelly Theater.

The featured soloist of the evening will be Statesboro High School senior Cameron Halaby, performing Johann Sebastian Bach’s Concerto for Keyboard in D minor on the Averitt’s Petrof Baby Grand.

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Dearly Beloved spotlights colorful Southern characters

An over-the-top wedding, three feuding sisters and a church full of small-town eccentrics…what could possibly go wrong?

Follow the misadventures of the Futrelle sisters as a series of unfortunate wedding-day events leads to a hilarious comedy of errors in Dearly Beloved, a laugh-a-minute Southern comedy on the Jan Brown Anderson stage of the Emma Kelly Theater April 29-May 2.

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Extra, Extra, Read All About It….Newsies at the                Emma Kelly Theater

It’s a tale as old as time; the rich, strong and powerful exploiting the poor, weak and downtrodden…until they’ve had enough of it.

A singing-and-dancing version of this age-old struggle hits the stage of the Emma Kelly Theater on March 25-28 as over 30 local and area children, teenagers and adults tell the tale of Jack Kelly vs. Joseph Pulitzer in Disney’s Newsies The Musical.

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Harvey, McLendon reprise roles for Always Patsy Cline

Local favorites Brandi Harvey and Christie McLendon bring the laughter, the music and the tears of Always Patsy Cline back to the Emma Kelly Theater on February 25-28.
The duo first performed the hilarious and heart-warming musical play, which was created and originally directed by Ted Swindley and is based on a true story, to a nearly packed house on March 24, 2018.

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Lady Legends of Country

Celebrate some of the legendary ladies of country music with talented local singers Brandi Harvey, Christie McLendon and Rachel Elkins and a five-piece band January 7-10 on the Jan Brown Anderson stage of the Emma Kelly Theater.

This talented trio covers some of the most popular tunes from the 1930s to the 1990s. The 30-song set includes music from The Carter Family, June Carter, Kitty Wells, The Davis Sisters, Patsy Cline, Wanda Jackson, Dolly Parton, Jeannie C. Riley, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Bobby Gentry, Lynn Anderson, Tanya Tucker, Barbara Mandrell and Reba McEntire. 

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Art education classes
start in August!

Visual arts, dance, theater, and music make up the four basic areas of the many Art Education
classes that begin this month at the four campuses of the Averitt
Center for the Arts. Enrolling in an Averitt Center art class is one of the best investments parents can make in helping their children develop. Register them to learn something new, sharpen old skills, make friends,
and have fun.
Why is arts education important to you and your family?
Students who participate in arts-learning experiences often improve their achievement in other
realms of learning and life. A growing number of studies present compelling evidence connecting
student learning in the arts to a wide spectrum of academic and social benefits. Additionally, research has
shown that what students learn in the arts may help them to master other subjects such as reading, math, or social studies.
And, if that is not enough, arts-involved students watch fewer hours of TV, participate in more community service, and report less boredom in school.

Find out more by clicking below!

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Looking forward to Summer Camps at the Averitt

Monday, May 30 is the opening date for our annual array of Averitt Center Summer Art Camps. During the nine weeks of summer, there are 58 week-long camps for children ranging from three-year-old dancers to 18-year-old artists. There are two ceramics workshops for adults as well as one ceramics class.


Some of the summer offerings include:
Lego Camp, STEAM camp, Painting for Gamers, Art In Nature, Space Camp, Summer Ceramics Sampler, Lion King Kids, Modern Dance Camp, Camp 9 ¾, Mermaids and Pirates, Encanto Dance Camps, Magical Fairytale Camp and many, many more. For a complete list and descriptions of the camps, visit our website at www.averittcenterforthearts.org/summer-camps.

Registration is underway for the annual program, sponsored by Synovus. The ACA Summer Art Camp program provides kids from ages 3 to 18 with the opportunity to be creative, have fun, meet new friends and start or continue a life-long love of the arts.        

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John Givens Folk Art on Display at the Rosengart Gallery

John Givens was born into poverty and grew up in Portal, Ga. He spent his teen years in Philadelphia and found a way throughout his life to make ends meet. Not academically but artistically inclined, he found few opportunities to get a formal education in art or to develop a studio career but he was enormously talented and found a way.

Like many self-taught artists, his work has a forthright innocence that candidly tells the tale. John returned to Bulloch County about a decade ago, continuing to paint both memories of his life here, narratives about current events and ghostly images of ancestors. We lost John in 2020 to Parkinson's disease.

He bequeathed his remaining art work to the Averitt Center for the Arts to be used as a catalyst to begin an art scholarship fund for underprivileged black children to take drawing, painting, ceramics and other art classes taught at the Averitt. The artwork is on display in the Rosengart Gallery at 41 West Main Street through February 26. 

Read More
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Christmas is in the air at the Averitt

Visual arts and music come together to make the Averitt Center for the Arts one very busy place in December.


The annual All Fired Up! Holiday Sale kicks off the merry month with one-of-a-kind ceramics, jewelry, paintings and more at the Roxie Remley Center for Fine Arts on Dec. 2-4.

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The Sound of Music headlines Averitt’s October

Over 40 community members bring the heartwarming story and the memorable songs of The Sound of Music to the Jan Brown Anderson stage of the Emma Kelly Theater in late October.
   Based on the 1949 memoir, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, by Maria von Trapp, the enchanting musical tells the story of a young Austrian woman who is trying to decide if she wants to become a nun in Salzburg, Austria in 1938.

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Frozen Jr. starts 2021-22 season at the Averitt

Ana and Elsa will be building a snowman in July at the Emma Kelly Theater to kick off the 2021-22 season.
Disney’s Frozen Jr. brings the two princesses and the magical land of Arendelle to life onstage. The show features all of the memorable songs from the animated film, with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, plus five new songs written for the Broadway production.

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Looking forward to Summer Camps at the Averitt

Monday, May 31 is the opening date for our annual array of Averitt Center Summer Art Camps. During the nine weeks of summer, there are 45 week-long camps for children ranging from three-year old dancers to 18-year old thespians. There is even a “camp” for adults.

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All Fired Up about April at the Averitt

Dance, visual arts and theater are all in full bloom in April at the Averitt Center for the Arts.
The month kicks off with the third annual An Evening of Modern Dance on April 2nd and 3rd in the Emma Kelly Theater. Averitt Ballet Director Taylor Ellen has choreographed dances which are filled with a wide variety of music and dance styles. This annual performance, sponsored by Jim and Betsy Nichols, shows off the diversity that is found in the art of dance, from the abstract to traditional techniques and everything in between. Dancing will be Madelyn Wolfe, Laural Boyles, Annie O’Neill, Caroline Spivey, Emma Vickers, Ana Grace Evans, Annie Coghill, Ella Warren, Jillian Ley, Janelle Spivey and Ellen.

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Mical Whitaker Named Averitt Center Legend 2021

Local theater legend and former Georgia Southern University professor Mical Whitaker isn’t caught off guard much. But Sunday, following a performance as Al Lewis in “The Sunshine Boys” alongside Eddie Frazier’s Willie Clark, Whitaker was completely taken by surprise.

Whitaker, who also turned 80 on Sunday, was presented the distinction of 2021 Averitt Center Legend of the Arts by Ressie Fuller, who co-directed “The Sunshine Boys” with Carol Thompson. The Legends are local artists who have made a substantial contribution to the arts in the area. Past legends include Emma Kelly, Michael Braz, Roxie Remley, Blind Willie McTell, Delma Presley and Betty Foy Sanders.

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Old-school comedy from Averitt favorites Whitaker, Frazier

Legendary local actors Mical Whitaker and Eddie Frazier head a hilarious cast in the Averitt STARS production of The Sunshine Boys on February 11-14.
Co-directed by Ressie Fuller and Carol Thompson, the Neil Simon comedy will be performed on the Jan Brown Anderson stage of the Emma Kelly Theater on February 11-13 at 7:30 p.m. in a 3 p.m. matinee performance on the 14th. The Sunday performance is particularly special because the day is Whitaker’s 80th birthday.