All the Projects Across My Desk with Brenda Durant

My desk looks like I had an explosion or an implosion, not sure which. It would look worse but I moved a pile to the floor. We are all working on numerous projects so everything is out and in the works. Sigh.


What Projects? Well…

We were recently offered 20,000 square feet of warehouse space to convert into creative space for local aritsts: studios, gallery, recording, classroom, and rehearsal space. It’s so fun to imagine but hard to launch the due diligence. We’ll get there. Beginnings.


We are launching our new board year so we are gathering information to begin a new development plan using a peer-to-peer fundraising template. Of course we have to gather all the local information so the board members can start the year with information and a plan of action. Our summer intern, Olivia Wahl, did a great job of researching emails for a giant contact list. Thankful.

Brenda Durant celebrating 25 years as Executive Director of the Greater Augusta Arts Council at the Augusta Annual Arts Awards in June 2022

Of course, Arts in the Heart Festival is a giant event that takes much of my time. I have been talking to sponsors and have had great results. I love that Coke is attaching promotional ‘neck-rings” to product in our region to promote the Festival this year. It’s fun to have a true partner who appreciates the Festival and works on a value-added package. I love and appreciate all our sponsors—they make the Festival possible. Appreciative.


Our stage schedules are close to completion. We just booked the Swanee Quintet to close down the Festival on Sunday evening. I can’t wait for that show. Anticipation.

Photo of a woman in German style clothing serving food the first ever Global Market at the Arts in the Heart festival of 1982
Photo taken by the Augusta Chronicle in 1982 of the Arts in the Heart Festival

At our Annual Meeting in June, my Board celebrated my 25th anniversary as Executive Director of the Arts Council. As I work on the Festival, I can’t help but reflect on the early years. We were located on 8th Street and the dirt lots between 8th and 9th. The Global Village looked like a scene from MASH- droopy tents and awnings on the bare ground. I was so grateful when the Common was completed and we moved the Global Village with all the same tents and signage. The other major event was moving the state highway from Broad to Greene so we could close down Broad Street for the Festival. The first year I stood on Broad and saw the white tents stretching from east to west, I was so proud. I really felt that we had grown up as a festival. Proud.


I am so happy it’s July with warm weather (OK hot hot hot weather) with easy access to our local lake for weekend relief. Take care, drink water and get out a little bit so you can attend Arts in the Heart this September. It’s a great week-end to invite friends to town—we have hotel specials!


Thanks all—Peace