Let’s Go Outside in Augusta, GA
Augusta, GA, is located on the eastern border of the state, separated from South Carolina by the Savannah River. The city offers multiple opportunities to introduce your child(ren) to art – both enjoying the art of others and hands-on opportunities for self creation. Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art provides both. Throughout the year, Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, offers art classes for students of all ages as well as art exhibitions featuring the works of local artists as well as historically relevant capsules. Originally opened in 1937, the institute is located on Telfair Street in downtown Augusta. The physical building is called Ware’s Folly, and it is listed on the National Register for Historic Places.
Another element of the Augusta arts scene is Westobou Gallery, located in downtown Augusta on Broad Street. This gallery focuses on contemporary and experimental artists, but art shows change regularly and are free to the public, so the gallery offers a dynamic way to let your child see the perspectives of different artists. Westobou is also associated with a yearly week-long arts festival, hosted each fall with a calendar of events happening at various locations in Augusta. Some events – such as the Chamber Music Series – are free to the public and are held during the day. Take advantage of the Chamber Music Series to expose your child to music they may be less familiar with, but may end up loving.
Locals invested in local arts culture look forward to fall in Augusta. A few weeks before Westobou, Augusta also hosts another annual arts festival called Arts in the Heart. The festival is shorter – a weekend-long event – and exclusively outside. Attendees can enjoy a variety of artistic concepts, including a variety of musical performances, art available for purchase from local artists, and a huge menu of international cuisine, prepared by local restaurants and families. In recent years, the festival added a kid zone, with activities prepared specifically for children to enjoy. There is a cost to get into Arts in the Heart, but you can buy your tickets in advance from a local Augusta business to save on admission.
There are several places in Augusta to expose your children to the performing arts, including Imperial Theater, Miller Theater, Bell Auditorium, and the Maxwell Theater at Augusta University. Maxwell Theater hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, many performed by AU theater students. Check their schedule for kid-friendly options. If your child is a fan of popular children’s characters, watch the calendar of events at Bell Auditorium. They regularly host nationally known musicians and kid-friendly performances, such as Disney on Ice or Broadway on Tour. Miller Theater has a unique place in Augusta history. It originally opened in 1940 and hosted a variety of performers and musical acts for more than 40 years, until its closing in the mid-1980s. After years of fundraising and renovation, the theater reopened in spring 2018, ready to introduce a new generation to the wonder of the live arts. In addition to larger performances, some local dance studios are using the theater for their yearly recitals.
Ask around for opportunities for art classes taught by Augusta artists throughout the year, including summer camps. And don’t forget your local library or bookstore. Most libraries in Augusta host weekly storytimes, special events – such as children’s theater performances, and reading clubs.