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Wanted: Anyone who enjoys theater, art, music
Averitt Center begins member drive
W Averitt file photo
A local production of "Driving Miss Daisy" was part of both the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons at the Averitt Center. Above Hoke, portrayed by Mical Whitaker, left, and Miss Daisy (Carol Thompson) enjoy Thanksgiving dinner together during a scene from "Driving Miss Daisy" produced by the Averitt STARs community theater. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/Herald File

      The Averitt Center for the Arts provides summer art camps for kids, venues for local artists and a community stage for the annual "Nutcracker" and Averitt STARS performances.
      And those are just a few of the programs that benefit when the community supports Statesboro's Averitt Center for the Arts. One way to help the center continue to offer quality programming is to become an Averitt Center member, said Melinda Roell, development consultant for the nonprofit center. The membership drive is now underway with individual and corporate levels for every wallet.
      "In the current economy, community support is more vital than ever for the Averitt Center to continue offering quality arts experiences," Roell said.
      She explained that in addition to state cuts for arts programs, limited grant monies have become highly competitive, leaving art centers more reliant on public support than ever.
      "We invite everyone to become an active member of the Averitt Center for the Arts," Roell said. "By doing so you support programs that educate, enlighten and entertain."
      Membership benefits vary by level, but all members receive invitations to special events, advanced notice of season ticket sales, program recognition and discounts on instructional programs or camps.
      Roell said several local restaurants and merchants also partner with the Averitt Center to provide discounts or special deals when people present their membership cards. Perks for the 2010-2011 season include 10 percent off entrees at 119 Chops Steakhouse, free dessert with purchase of an entrée at Emma's and a bruchetta pita appetizer with purchase of an entrée at Manny's Bar and Grill.
      Averitt Center members are also able to purchase season tickets before the general public. Members can buy season tickets beginning Monday. With four package options from which to choose, upcoming season performances include "Satisfaction: A Rolling Stones Experience;" "Shades of Grey: The Robert E. Lee Story," the Averitt STARS productions of "Dearly Departed," "Harvey" and "Greater Tuna," and of course, the Youth Ballet production of "The Nutcracker" and more.
      Opened in September 2004, the Averitt Center and Emma Kelly Theater occupy two formerly condemned buildings, the Bank of Statesboro and old Georgia Theater. Roell said they are now centerpieces for activity in downtown Statesboro, helping to draw in new businesses and visitors.
      Membership forms can be downloaded at www.averittcenterforthearts.org under the "support" tab, or obtained at the Averitt Center on East Main Street in Statesboro Tuesday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Membership is also available via phone at (912) 212-2787.

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