Arts Clayton honored by county association

JONESBORO — Arts Clayton won two top honors earlier this month from the National Association of Counties, one for its historic home on Main Street and the other for its youth programs.

The “Arts Partners Preserve Historic Property” was awarded in recognition of the multi-jurisdictional collaboration that supported Arts Clayton’s move into its current home. Funded with city, county, state and federal grants, Arts Clayton’s location in downtown Jonesboro now hosts a summer camp, after-school art programs, a three-dimensional garden show and more.

In 2011, about 64,000 Clayton residents participated in 30 exhibits, 240 art classes, 24 workshops and numerous community outreach events. According to a Clayton County statement on the award, Arts Clayton and the revitalization of the Jonesboro Historic District have “encouraged more businesses, appeals to more families, and promotes more activity involvement.”

The second award honors the “Kaleidoscope of Young Artists” program, which is geared around a summer art camp staged by Arts Clayton and the Jackson Elementary School of the Arts. Twenty-four classes are offered over 10 days, featuring singing, orchestra, ceramics, painting, acting and more.

Commissioner Sonna Singleton, who is also vice-chair of the association’s arts and culture committee, accepted the honor for Clayton County at the association’s annual convention in Pittsburgh on July 15.

Arts Clayton Executive Director Linda Summerlin said the entry was submitted through the board of commissioners, which deserves high praise for supporting the arts in Clayton County.

“We couldn’t do what we do without them,” Summerlin said.