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Officials claim day for arts

Proclamation to improve area with culture

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POSTED: December 18, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Photo by Lauren Hunsberger/

People at Monday's ceremony pose for a group photo.

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Officials from more than a dozen area municipalities came together Monday morning to sign a proclamation officially recognizing Dec. 1 in Hinesville as Art and Music Day.
Tom Hickey, chairman of the Hinesville Area Arts Council, opened the ceremony on the steps of the Liberty County Courthouse by thanking those in attendance for their support and recognition of the arts. Hickey said the collaboration to push for an increase in cultural events such as concerts and gallery showings will only bring good.
“We’re going to find ourselves faced with a better community,” he said.
Hickey started the initiative in October by talking to area officials, including mayors and Liberty County commissioners, and trying to get them on board to help bring more cultural events to Liberty County. He said it wasn’t hard to get people involved.
“Immediately, the interest was huge,” Hickey said. “In their November sessions, (municipalities and councils) all agreed and adopted the proclamation.”
During the ceremony, many said they were more than happy to promote arts in the area and that they thought Hickey, who has already brought events such as jazz concerts and book signings to the area, was doing a good thing for the community.
“Art is very important to our culture and diversity,” said Liberty County Commissioner Bob Sprinkel. “It’s important for the growth, education and well-being of our citizens.”
According to Hickey, the community stands to gain a whole lot more than culture. He said the arts generate about $134 billion for the nation’s economy each year and support 4.9 million jobs, and that it’s about time Hinesville got its share.
Hicks said another huge benefit of music and other humanities is that they are scientifically proven to help youth.
“From an educational perspective, students involved in the arts and music generally outperform their peers who are not involved in the same types of programs,” Hickey said. “Music performance, in particular, creates a marked difference in brain development in the younger years, and by the time they graduate, students who have been active in music performance outpace their peers in crucial tests such as the SAT, ACT and Georgia High School Graduation Test.”
Officials had children in mind when agreeing to support and work with the arts council.
“I’m looking forward to bringing more arts to the city,” Allenhurst Mayor Thomas Hines said. “It’s something good for the youth.”
 

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