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Contributed photo by David Boyle / The Northwest Georgia Arts Guild is working to revamp its mission in order to engage more community members. From left are officers David Boyle, Sheri Aldridge and Lizzie Caldwell.

The heart of the Northwest Georgia Arts Guild's mission is "Art for all." But it's hard to establish an arts community in spread-out, rural communities like those in North Georgia, says Lizzie Caldwell, the guild's new president.

Back in June, the guild was selected to receive grants related to Thriving LaFayette, an initiative to use arts and culture to revitalize the city and surrounding areas. But before that work could start, the guild itself had to be revitalized. Participation had fallen off over the years. The defunct team wasn't meeting and didn't have enough officers.

The guild has since reformed with a newly elected executive cabinet consisting of Caldwell, Vice President Kaylee Smith, secretary David Boyle and treasurer Sheri Aldridge.

The team has devised a new mission to connect area artists and support one another's work, with a concentration on the performing arts.

Creating a community

Artists from throughout Northwest Georgia are invited to join the guild by mailing $25 to NWGAG, 309 N. Main St., LaFayette, Ga., 30728.

With the team ready to reinvigorate the arts scene of Northwest Georgia, on Oct. 3 they hosted their first guild meeting. The informal program, entitled "Reconnecting and Sharing," invited area artists to share their recent art and network. Artists of all mediums, from oil paint to sculpture, met to bring a face to their work, Caldwell said.

The guild plans to work with the Thriving LaFayette initiative to revitalize the area through the guild's renewed arts and cultural activity. Earlier this year, LaFayette was one of three regional cities to be chosen for the Thriving Communities program hosted by the Thrive Regional Partnership, which aims to act as a way to leverage the city's artistic assets for economic growth.

One of the first projects the guild is taking part in is designing a beehive-shaped mobile art center in LaFayette, which is known for its Honeybee Festival. The project will be used as an education center to both promote local artists and enhance art awareness in the area.

Email Sabrina Bodon at sbodon@timesfreepress.com.

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