By Howard Pousner
The setting for the first in a series of statewide community forums to develop a five-year strategic plan for the Georgia Council for the Arts was a blank, white-walled gallery, which seemed — at least symbolically — apt.
With a new place in the state government structure (under the Department of Economic Development) and a new leader (Karen L. Paty) to guide it, the GCA appears ready to gut it to the walls and start fresh.
Monday’s gathering at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia in Buckhead, the first of seven forums across the state, featured opening remarks by Gov. Nathan Deal. Deal spoke to the audience of 100-plus, mainly arts leaders and artists, with enthusiasm about the role of the arts in conveying cultural heritage, as well as its impact on the economy and (potentially) education.
Though his appearance lent symbolic support, the governor, in a brief Q&A after his talk, gave little hope of additional state arts funding.