Progress 2012: Quality of Life

April 4, 2012

The Creative Arts Guild

Enriching expressive and cultural experiences

Founded in 1963 by a small group of committed citizens, the Creative Arts Guild is the oldest community arts organization in the state of Georgia and the only multidisciplinary facility in northwest Georgia.

The founders — Bob Culpepper, Marie Stull Crosby, Keith Gregory, Maydell Harden, Oscar and Peggy Jonas, Hugh Kemp, Marjorie and Travis Rhodes, Eli and Bernice Rosen, Gerald and Bernice Spigel, Peter Spirer, Tom Stull, and John and Jody Tillotson — made their dream a reality with remarkable vision and tireless work.

The original 10,000-square-foot facility, constructed 31 years ago with private support from the community, has recently undergone a transformation. With the relocation of the gymnastic and dance programs to a new facility on Cleveland Highway, the Guild’s footprint has been expanded to a total of 33,600 square feet.

The Waugh Street facility now incorporates the Main Gallery, Gallery 111, music studios, an expanded art studio and the newly renovated Performance Hall. The new facility boasts a 23,600-square-foot gymnastics/cheer facility and three new dance studios. Both of these buildings exemplify the passionate support the Guild has enjoyed for five decades.

One of the most common comments we hear is “How do you do it all?” The answer is simple — a strong board of directors and trustees, a committed and determined staff, private and public support, and a raft of passionate volunteers. With this competent foursome, the Guild has become one of the leading arts institutions in the Southeast.

Among the annual and ongoing activities at the Guild there are approximately 20 free public exhibitions a year, some organized by the Guild, and some from museums, established collectors or galleries.

The newly created Robert T. Webb Sculpture Garden further exemplifies the Guild’s commitment to public art, providing a “door-less” gallery available to all 24 hours a day, seven days a week, something we believe to be a totally unique and original concept within the state of Georgia.

The Guild also offers the area’s only festival of fine arts and fine crafts. The 49-year-old annual two-day event brings more than 80 regional artists to Dalton, where a variety of fine decorative and functional arts are showcased. The event includes musical and dance performances and a storytelling place with special “hands-on” activities for children. With more than 7,000 people in attendance, the festival is a highlight of the Guild’s year.

The Guild provides individual, for-fee instruction in instrumental and vocal music; group lessons in dance (ballet, modern, jazz, hip-hop and tap); gymnastics and cheerleading; visual arts (painting, drawing and pottery); and theater.

Our music department manages and produces the monthly “In Concert” performance series and Spigel Summer Concert Series evenings to provide local and regional musicians with venues to hone their performing skills in addition to developing audiences for a variety of musical styles including folk, jazz, bluegrass, classical and rock.

The Guild’s ballet company, Ballet Dalton, and dance department continue to offer multiple recitals for the community, most notably the beloved Hans Christian Andersen ballet “The Snow Queen” performed annually during the holiday season.

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Progress 2012: Quality of Life
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