Performing Arts Center Task Force reaches out to city - North Atlanta Business Post
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Updated Jan 8 @ 5:34PM

Performing Arts Center Task Force reaches out to city

Community survey in hand, group seeks master plan funding

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The Cultural Arts Task Force is gathering together a proposal for the creation of a Johns Creek performing arts center. The first step is to gather information.

Surveys of arts organizations and area businesses were conducted this spring by the task force. Following is a short synopsis of the results.

Music: Fifteen music orchestras, churches or other organizations reported annual budgets of upwards of $470,000. They had 130 performances per year and paid about $5,000 in rental fees. They counted about 185 years of experience.

Dance: Johns Creek is the home of 10 dance companies, making it a hub of dance education in North Fulton County. With a combined annual expense of more than $310,500 in rental fees alone, the dance companies with more than 200 years of experience said they average 500 attendees for 45 performances each year.

Visual Arts: The leading non-profit in the city, the Johns Creek Arts Center, has a $742,000 annual budget. Founded in 1996, the center conducts hundreds of classes, workshops and camps each year, along with a rotating series of art exhibitions. Annually, the arts center serves more than 11,000 participants.

Theater: Two theater organizations, with 33 years of combined service to the community, performed 50 times per year.

Businesses: All businesses responding to the survey said they were “extremely interested” or “very interested” in seeing the development of a visual and performing arts center. More than 96 percent said a center would increase business and “community feel.”

JOHNS CREEK, GA., – A task force, the Cultural Arts Alliance at Johns Creek, was established a few months ago with one purpose in mind: establishing a Johns Creek visual & performing arts center in the city.

Now the Alliance is trying to convince the City Council to free up funding from the Johns Creek Convention and Visitors Bureau to fund a feasibility study for such a performing arts center.

Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra Artistic Director J. Wayne Baughman has been the point man in the drive to get the city and the City Council interested in creating a cultural arts center, and Baughman is the Arts & Culture Task Force chairman.

“Our task at hand is to convince the Johns Creek City Council to appropriate funds from the Johns Creek Convention and Visitors Bureau to fund a feasibility study,” Baughman said.

Such an arts facility could support the artistic, cultural, historical and educational organizations in and around Johns Creek.”

“A visual and performing arts center would surround city citizens with a welter of cultural experiences and opportunities. It would be an economic boon for the community as well as providing residents with quality-of-life experiences and opportunities.” Baughman said.

The task force has been reaching out to arts organizations and businesses: dance studios, art galleries, singers and musicians, painters and music teachers to muster organizational support.

Five specific surveys have been completed in the areas of music, dance, visual arts, theater and business.

Survey results show an overwhelming need for local arts and cultural businesses to have a visual and performing arts center in the city, according to board member Ron Cioffi.

“We think the City Council will see the benefit of such an arts center when they see the community support for it,” Cioffi said.

Those who would like to participate in the final survey may do so at the website The survey will take responses through July 19.

Early research has already allowed the task force to predict that nearly 100 performances and events would be hosted by the arts center in its first year of operation.

Questioned about their attendance at artist and cultural events, 22.6 percent said they did so every week.

Respondents also indicated 34.8 percent would spend at least $250 when attending each event. The community was asked their preference on funding of an arts center. The vast majority – 90.6 percent – supported a public/private partnership.

Asked if they would donate to build an arts center, 84.1 percent said yes.

The task force is continuing to solicit residents for their input in a survey open through the end of July.

Early results from the Community Survey include:

The responses to “What do you want in the Arts Center?” were:

  • Performance Hall, 98.7 percent
  • Visual Arts Center, 60.3 percent
  • Flexible Meeting Space, 60.3 percent
  • Sculpture Garden, 34.6 percent
  • Historical Museum, 25 percent
  • Asked how often they attended arts or cultural events, 78 percent said at least once a month.

The task force’s final report will be available to the public in July on the Cultural Arts Alliance at Johns Creek website.

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