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Art circle closes doors
by Nneka M. Okona
July 10, 2012 01:28 PM | 3329 views | 0 0 comments | 64 64 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Joe Livingston <br>
Arno Williams looks over Appreciation Awards presented to the Hyacinth Art Social Club group by the East Point Neighborhood Association and Concerned Citizens and Clergy of East Point.
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This past April, the Hyacinth Art Circle, an organization active in East Point since 1913, closed its doors to years of memories and a thriving legacy.

Originally known as Hyacinth Art Circle Sewing Club, the group was formed by Cora Lee Kempson as way to bring the women of the community together.

Meetings were held twice a month and no meetings were held during June, July or August to account for summer travels.

Arno Williams, a third generation member of the club, said that the organization had to be let go because previous members were not active anymore.

“All the people who were in it, they either passed or weren’t able to come to club meetings like they used to,” said Williams.

When Williams reflected on the memories from the club, she recalled her involvement from an early age.

“My grandmother brought me to the club when I was six weeks old,” she said. “It was just like a sewing club. The ladies got together, talked and served food.”

Williams said the ladies also took trips together—to Tennessee—trips during which, the women bonded.

But talking, laughter, sewing and food were not the full extent of the organization.

The women who were members prided themselves on giving back to the community in which they lived.

“We used to donate every Christmas to an organization,” said Evangeline Woods Gafford, Williams’ mother and a longtime member of the club. “We also used to help the homeless shelter for women in the West End. We gave the women Marta cards or money.”

The tradition of charitable giving, the friendships and connections formed, the trips, the conversation—these are what Williams and Gafford will remember for years to come.

“I grew up with all the ladies in East Point,” said Williams. “It was just delightful.”

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