SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The City of Savannah has opened its brand new Savannah Cultural Arts Center.
The project has been in the works for several years, and now the building is complete.
The new center is located on Montgomery Street across from the Savannah Civic Center. The 39,000 square-foot facility includes a performing arts theater, a smaller performance space, five studio classrooms, and one gallery.
Hundreds of taxpayers gathered to see how their SPLOST dollars were put to work. They’ve spent years working on the more-than $20 million facility. Now, the question is, where will it take the city next?
Art is everywhere. It’s on the walls from Savannah-Chatham County art students. It’s in the demo classrooms as the wheel spins the clay. It’s in the foyer on full display in song, in poetry, and in dance.
“There are so many artists here,” said Clair Buckner, Visual Arts Specialist, City of Savannah. “We have SCAD, we have Armstrong, which is now Georgia Southern. We have so much talent in this town, and it would just be nice to give them a place to share it.”
Community members say seeing city leaders cut the ribbon makes it all real, but in the end, it was all made possible by those same taxpaying people.
“This is a SPLOST program. It’s going to benefit so many people for so many years to come. It would be hard to measure the impact it’s going to have on our community,” said Mayor Eddie DeLoach, City of Savannah.
To celebrate the new era of cultural Savannah arts, city leaders are honoring jazz icon Ben Tucker who significantly contributed to the community. His family accepted the resolution, making it the Ben Tucker Theater.
“So, to see people here tonight that are appreciative of what he has done and what he has represented to Savannah, the things he brought culturally and educationally to Savannah is fantastic,” said Reuben Tucker, Ben Tucker’s nephew. “It’s a wonderful thing to see.”
If you like to sing or dance, play an instrument, or create a masterpiece, those with the cultural arts department say they want to see people of all ages utilizing the space.
Starting this summer, the center will offer a wide variety of classes, workshops, and events for the community to enjoy.
“It’s to support the arts, to support people that do art, support people that want to make it, buy it, consume it, anything. This is just for everybody.”
The public will also have the chance to see the space on Saturday, April 13, when the city hosts a Community Day event with all types of sample classes and performances. The full Grand Opening Celebration schedule is as follows:
For additional Savannah Cultural Arts Center information, click here.