Flint River Arts Council

229.336.9222 : info@flintriverarts.org

We bring the arts to Mitchell and Baker Counties

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A Brief
HISTORY OF THE FLINT RIVER ARTS COUNCIL

The mission of the Flint River Arts Council (FRAC) is to inspire and enrich the lives of all citizens of Mitchell and Baker Counties through education, performance, and appreciation of the arts. The vision is of an “art literate” community, pooling the resources of the coverage area and providing accessible, cost-effective arts opportunities for all ages. By becoming partners in community events already in place, we can extend our ability to reach local families. Because funding for the arts in schools has been significantly reduced, the Arts Council has a particular commitment to bringing a wide variety of visual and performing arts to the schoolchildren of these communities.


The FRAC, a membership organization open to the public, was initially formed by a committed group of community volunteers in the summer of 2000, but shortly thereafter lost its president, who relocated. With new leadership and renewed energy, the Board of Directors began work in earnest in early 2002.

  • With guidance from the Georgia Council on the Arts, leadership was recruited from all aspects of the FRAC community. While Board workgroups developed policies needed to lay a sound footing for the organization, volunteers implemented a generous calendar of activities.

 
 
  • Through partnerships with local performers, the FRAC offered a “Triple Bill” of entertainment in April 2002, to raise awareness and funds for restoration of the auditorium at the former Mitchell County High School campus, on Harney Street in Camilla.
  • Agreement was reached with the City of Camilla, and volunteers successfully sought donations to renovate a city facility (the band room at the former Harney Street campus). The result was the May opening of the FRAC art classroom, a lovely, vibrant space that is safe and accessible, at minimal cost. In 2003, grant funds were used to renovate the adjacent room as meeting space and administrative office for the Executive Director.
  • In January, 2003, the FRAC moved to a new organizational level in hiring Executive Director, Lillibel Wingate. A $15,000 grant from the State of Georgia provided much-needed startup funds to fully-equip the administrative office and classroom.
  • As time goes on, collaborations with private instructors, community organizations, local schools and funders have resulted in a wide range of offerings for all ages, preschool through adult, including:
    • Arts performances for schoolchildren in Mitchell and Baker Counties:
      • Classical piano concert developed for middle-schoolers, at the Camilla Depot.
      • Classical dance performance for schoolchildren at the Pelham High School auditorium.
      • Drama performance for local high school students, featuring a nationally-known storyteller.
    • Visual and performing arts classes:
      • A series of interactive arts for preschoolers and a parent, “Mommy and Me.”
      • Ongoing art classes for adults and summer art classes for schoolchildren.
      • Sponsorship of students who attended a week-long theatre workshop.
      • Summer dance and painting classes at the local Boys and Girls Club.
      Arts activities at community events:
      • Art show for local students, as part of Camilla’s Gnat Days celebration.
      • Informational booth and arts activities at Pelham’s Wildlife Festival.
  • In addition to offering access to arts activities and performances, the Arts Council continues its ongoing partnership with the Flint River Auditorium Alliance, to help guide restoration of the former Mitchell County High School auditorium.
  • Local volunteers and an active fundraising committee have hosted events and pursued support from private foundations and local businesses. Additional monies have been raised through membership fees and the financial commitment of Board members.