Arts and cultural programming provide many benefits for a community: they enhance individual life; they promote diversity along with sense of community, and they drive economic growth. Realizing this, the Albany Area Arts Council works to encourage, sponsor and support the arts and culture in our community. We do this with a focus on our mission to "Unite our community through the arts and humanities." The AAAC has served Albany in this capacity since 1976. The AAAC continues to provide services that are vital to our collaborating organizations, the City of Albany at large, and an ever-widening surrounding area.
One of the ways that we support local culture is through historic preservation. Since 1991, the AAAC has served as steward to the beautiful, historic Carnegie Library for the City of Albany. The AAAC sponsors the arts by utilizing this beautiful facility as an art gallery for local and regional artists. We encourage community engagement by offering opening receptions for each exhibition; the openings and exhibitions are always free and open to the public. The exhibitions attract a diverse audience from all parts of Albany and many surrounding communities. Because of the Carnegie’s central location, these events also help promote the revitalization of downtown Albany through the development of an arts district.
The AAAC is essential to arts development and education within the community, consistently collaborating with other arts and culture agencies. The AAAC provides regular meeting space for assorted groups including the Georgia Artists Guild of Albany; arts, crafts and educational workshops; and college art classes. In this regard, the AAAC also conducts ballroom dance classes in partnership with Albany Technical College, coproduces the Empty Bowls Annual Fundraiser with SOWEGA Council On Aging, hosts Holiday Arts and Crafts programs with Albany Recreation and Parks, facilitates the Albany Symphony Organization’s Conductors Circle receptions, provides jury space for the Martin Luther King and Kiwanis Art Competitions for middle and high school students.
The primary function of the AAAC has always been to work collaboratively with other local arts and cultural organizations, most primarily our Member Organizations which include Albany Civil Rights Institute, Albany Museum of Art, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Georgia Artists Guild of Albany, The Albany Chorale, Theatre Albany, Thronateeska Heritage Center, Albany State University, and Dougherty County School System. A sample of services that we provide include assistance cooperative scheduling, collaborative programming, resource sharing, clearinghouse for arts-related information, marketing / distribution of information for local arts and culture entities as requested, public relations for arts and culture within the community, enhancing the role of arts and culture in downtown development, and functioning as a central point of communications for arts and culture entities to the local community.