The Sun News

Group hopes party will lead to arts center

The Premiere Building Campaign Kickoff Party is being hosted by the Fine Arts Society of Middle Georgia.

Not just any dance or food party, this one is to kickoff support for an arts center.

“I think it’s something we’re lacking. (People) have to go to Macon or Atlanta” for any type of arts center, said Cassie Griffith, event coordinator for the organization.

Currently, the society holds events in a space which is not adequate for the types of artists who live in the county.

The idea is to get enough interest in the building project by hosting a party to tell people about the fund as well as to raise money at the same time, Griffith said.

The party, which is being held Saturday starting at 6 p.m. at 508 Osigian Blvd., features music by Eddie Stone and Rob Walker. There will also be a silent auction that will include sports memorabilia, a vacation package, original art and celebrity items.

Sonny’s BBQ will be providing the food for the event.

“We need to get a good bit of funds to apply for grants,” said Leslie Hoops-Wallace, who does publicity for the building fund campaign.

Hoops-Wallace estimated the center would cost at least $1 million to build. The committee has looked at several buildings and properties that might work for the arts center.

Jim Balletto, the chairman of the building committee, has reached out to senior level officials at Robins Air Force Base as well as local business owners to garner support for the cultural center, Griffith said.

The arts organization started in 2000 and has about 80 active members in seven Middle Georgia counties.

The goal, according to the executive summary, is to raise funds through the end of 2015 and start building or purchasing a cultural center in early 2016.

“Every time we say what we are doing, we hear ‘man, we really need something like this in this area,’’’ Griffith said.

Tickets are $25 each or two for $40. Buy tickets online at Tickets are also available from Griffith, by calling 478-951-3716 at her Coldwell Banker office, 470 S Houston Lake Road. For more information about the Fine Arts Society, visit

For more information on donating to the fund, contact the building committee chair, Jim Balletto, at 478-338-0541.