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Averitt Center offers dance, drawing classes, begins its fall season

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Posted: August 18, 2007 1:27 p.m.
Updated: September 2, 2007 5:00 a.m.
    The easels are lined up, the dance floor is down and the piano is tuned. It’s time to sign up for the Averitt Center for the Arts’ fall season of community instructional programming.     
    The center’s formal registration period is this week. There are classes in dance, visual arts and performing arts, many of which are geared towards the youth in the community.
    “Art is a learning activity and once you’ve created that skill you can carry it throughout your lifetime” said Tim Chapman, executive director for the Averitt Center. “Unlike some sports — most people can’t learn football then play the rest of their life — but in the arts you can. If you can develop a love for some art form, it’s usually a lifelong skill.”
     Rachel Godbee, program coordinator for the Averitt Center, says much of the information about the classes can be found in the Autumn Program guide. It can be picked up for free around town at many of the local restaurants, coffee houses and entertainment venues in addition to the center’s lobby.
    The guide outlines programs produced by the Averitt Center and also gives information about other performance groups using the facilities throughout the semester. These include community art exhibits, gallery exhibitions, First Friday activities, Georgia Southern Opera, as well as a host of other locally sponsored and traveling shows.
    Registration for classes can be accomplished three ways. First, fill out the registration form in the Autumn Program guide and mail it to the Averitt Center with your check. To pay by Visa or Master Card, call the center at (912) 212-ARTS, or come by the administrative offices, located on the second floor, during business hours, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
    Nearly all of the classes with be held at the Averitt Center. The visual arts classes, such as painting and drawing, will take place on the second floor. With empty easels and worktables already in place, the visual arts room is already prepared to take on new students.
    For dance, the Averitt Centers houses a multi-purpose room on the third floor. When the dancing surface is laid down, there is a large and well-lit room suitable for dancing and movement.
    If the dance floor is taken up and the carpet rolled out, the room changes into a reception hall where the Youth Gallery Exhibitions are kicked off. The first exhibition opens September 7th, as part of the FirstFriday festivities, and will feature artwork by students at Mill Creek and Nevils Elementary. FirstFriday is free and sponsored by the Downtown Main Street program.
    When asked about the fees for the classes, Chapman said, “For the most part, it covers the instructor’s fee and some of the supplies.”  He noted that some classes require additional equipment supplied by the student, such as ballet shoes for a dance class.
    Does the Averitt Center make money on these classes? “Very little,” said Chapman. “The small portion that the Averitt Center gets from the class is used to keep the building operational, like keeping the lights on.”
    “We have always offered quality opportunities top engage in the arts, but we really feel like this year that we are offering some super opportunities for artists in the community to expand their own art form,” Chapman said. “We’ve got great instructors and we’re working towards establishing resident instructors, so we can have some continuity in the types of classes we offer. We’re looking for to a great season.”
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