Nonprofit group to purchase buildings around City Center Parking Lot
The Eatonton Messenger
November 4, 2016
From staff reports
Downtown Eatonton’s Artisans Village has received a $20,000 grant check from the Community Foundation of Central Georgia. A special Oct. 19 ceremony in one of the Artisans Village’s historic cotton warehouses was used to announce the grant.
(The warehouses are off the City Center Parking Lot. City Center is the new name given to the 80-parking space area behind the east side of North Jefferson Avenue’s 100 block.)
The money will enable the Artisans Village to meet its goal this month of purchasing the historic brick cotton warehouses and livery stable from current owner Stewart Aaron.
The $20,000 grant is significant, because it is the first gift outside of CFCA’s old geographic boundaries, according to Briar Patch Arts Council President Lou Benjamin.
“(The Artisans Village is) going to make Eatonton a more interesting and inviting place to live and generate revenue at the same time,” Eatonton Mayor Walter Rocker Jr. said during the check presentation ceremony. “If I had tried to tell you a few years ago that Eatonton was becoming an artist town, you’d have laughed me out of town. … But now we have three museums, an arts center and we’re about to become a movie production center.”
The Artisans Village is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and was established as an economic development art tourism venture, according to a Artisans Village news release. It is part of a collaborative effort to revitalize the region through increased cultural tourism.
Its stated goals include bringing a broad assortment of artists and their artwork to Putnam County, generating tourism revenue and partnering with the Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce, Eatonton Main Street, Georgia Writers Museum, Plaza Arts Center, Georgia College, Putnam County High School and local businesses.
The Artisans Village has a three-stage plan:
- Nov. 1, 2016 — Purchase the historic brick cotton warehouses and livery stable at the City Center Parking Lot.
- July 1, 2017 – Open the renovated livery stable (the brick building in the middle of the City Center Parking Lot.
- July 1, 2018 – Open the renovated warehouses (the cluster of brick buildings off the far east side of the City Center Parking Lot).
For information on how to help put the Artisans Village closer to its $1.1 million capital campaign goal by making a donation: