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Deal praises tourism, arts in Georgia
by Sarah Anne Voyles
svoyles@neighbornewspapers.com
September 17, 2013 04:45 PM | 2084 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last week, Gov. Nathan Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal announced the “Inspired Georgia: 28 Works from Georgia State Art Collection” at the Georgia Governor’s Tourism Convention at Stone Mountain Park.

The state art collection will travel throughout the state via nine different cities in the next 14 months. The collection solely features Georgia artists from the ‘70s to ‘90s. Mrs. Deal said she would like to find funding to add artists from the ‘90s to now.

“We just hope that this will create conversation in the areas that this exhibit visits and around the state,” she said. “We know that art can make a difference on the life of a child and children with schools that have arts programs seem to do better. We hope this exhibit makes this possible for more children.”

The cities selected went through a competitive application process. Mrs. Deal said she hopes all residents will travel to Dublin, Gainesville, Jonesboro, Kingsland, Monroe, Summerville, Tallapoosa, Tifton and Toccoa to see these pieces.

“I hope that as this collection travels around it will inspire visitors who attend and view it,” Deal said.

“We hope that they will celebrate the arts in their local community and then be encouraged to get out and tour our great state.”

Besides speaking about the collection, Deal addressed tourism in Georgia. He said Georgia is ranked seventh in tourism spending and this comes from two groups working together – the Georgia Council for the Arts and the Georgia Department of Economic Affairs, tourism department.

“When Starbucks sought out Augusta, it was because of the quality of life their employees could have with the symphony and the ballet,” Deal said. “Having the arts and economic affairs work together just makes sense to bring more tourism and work to our great state.”

Deal said tourism last year created 400,000 jobs and a $2.8 billion tax base. It also brought more than $51 billion in revenue for the state.
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