Arts & Culture
Coweta County offers many cultural and leisure activities. These diverse and vibrant activities that feed the imagination, foster creativity, and provide important cultural exposure are the fibers that weave neighborhoods, towns, faith-based and ethnic groups together into the community tapestry that is Coweta County.
Whether you are sipping your favorite brew at Espresso Lane, strolling through the annual Spring Newnan-Coweta Art Association Art Show on the Courthouse Square, enjoying “Les Miserables” or the Martha Graham Dance Company at the Centre for the Performing Arts, or singing along with “Pirates of Penzance” at the Newnan Theatre Company, art and culture abound. Coweta County has served as a venue for sophisticated and rather rare exhibits such as the Lewis & Clark Expedition and the work of Madame Francois Gilot, Picasso’s protégé and the wife of Jonas Salk. For local artists, the Newnan-Coweta Art Association holds paint-ins every Tuesday, 3-5 p.m. at Harriet Alexander Art Center on Hospital Road in Newnan.
While almost everyone knows that country music stars Alan Jackson and Doug Stone are from Newnan, when you live here you’re more likely to catch a concert by The Straynotes, made up of Jackson’s mother, sisters, in-laws and friends. If you want to be part of a performance yourself, there are several different organizations throughout the county that promote and present the visual, musical and theatrical arts, not to mention the Coweta County School System’s fine arts offerings and the multitude of choral, orchestral, and even dance opportunities offered by the area’s many churches. You can even catch some special performances at the grassy amphitheater at Dunaway Gardens in Roscoe, situated amid a stunning, 25-acre floral rock garden.
The Newnan Cultural Arts Commission
The Cultural Arts Commission, which was established by the Mayor and City Council, plans, sponsors, and coordinates appropriate cultural events in Newnan. Since its creation in 2004, the Commission has hosted the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra from Newnan’s sister city in Ayr, Scotland; coordinated the annual Charles Wadsworth and Friends Concerts; and planned for the Miss Georgia USA pageant, held at the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts. The 14-member volunteer board continues to assist with cultural special events for the city.
Main Street Newnan
This vibrant merchant organization invites everyone to browse the picturesque downtown streets, explore the interesting and unusual shops in historic downtown, sample the local cuisine, and discover the true hospitality of the South. Main Street Newnan celebrates its 23rd anniversary this year with annual Art Walks, Taste of Newnan and many other events in the city. There is something for every season. Go to www.mainstreetnewnan.com for more information.
The Charles Wadsworth Auditorium
Located on Jefferson Street in downtown Newnan, the 625-seat auditorium features renovated dressing rooms, and excellent acoustics. The auditorium is reserved for concerts, civic gatherings and community shows, most notably the annual concert by world renowned pianist and Newnan native Charles Wadsworth, for whom the auditorium is named.
The City of Newnan has made efforts to preserve the 1930s-era Art Deco hall including retaining and enhancing the original remaining Art Deco elements such as light fixtures, a pair of murals flanking the stage, geometric wall treatments, and refurbished decorative seating. Other improvements include a new sound and lighting system, a new stage rigging system and construction of an interior technical balcony. A new color scheme using Art Deco colors was created and carpet installed. For reservations, call Newnan City Hall at (770) 254-2354.
The Centre for Performing and Visual Arts
This modern, 48,000 square-foot structure is nestled in a serene valley off Lower Fayetteville Road near the City of Newnan. The Coweta County School System facility provides students and the community with a 1,000-seat, state-of-the-art performance hall, elegant lobby, lecture hall and the Françoise Gilot art gallery. This “pearl of the community” has become the nucleus of an expanding fine arts curriculum in Coweta’s schools, as well as a center of community life. For example, the Centre is the home of the STAR (Superintendent’s Theatre Arts Resource) program that is an auditioned group of Coweta County high school students that strives to excel in all aspects of the fine arts. The Centre also serves as home to Masterworks Chorale, an auditioned community choir, and Centre Strings, a selected ensemble of experienced strings players.
Construction of The Centre for Performing and Visual Arts was funded by a SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) program along with an investment by the Coweta County School System. The Centre is available for use by all the citizens of the surrounding communities with priority being given to school system events. For information on upcoming events or rental, call (770) 254-ARTS (2787), or visit www.thecentreonline.net.
Newnan Community Theatre Company
Community theatre is a 30-year legacy that has provided Coweta audiences with a variety of interesting, sometimes provocative, educational, and entertaining productions. A group of dedicated volunteers produce an annual season of plays such as The Importance of Being Ernest, The Odd Couple, Little Shop of Horrors, and other popular productions at its home at 24 First Ave., Newnan. Visit www.newnantheatre.com for the latest schedule and call (770) 683-6282 to make reservations.
Fayette-Coweta Family Theatre, Inc. (FCFT)
Another theatre outlet, FCFT offers professional quality, educational and high moral theatrical experiences to families with children from 2 to 18 years of age. FCFT offers four to six productions each season. FCFT productions are family friendly and are suitable for all age groups. Past FCFT productions are Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Disney’s Aladdin, Aristocats, Godspell, Disney’s High School Musical, Disney’s Mulan, Tiny Thumbelina and Voices from the Titanic.
FCFT maintains two professional ensembles that each present one production per season. A Company of Friends Educational Productions presents musical and educationally-based shows for school groups. Past ACOF shows include School House Rock Live, Cinderella, The Wizard of Oz and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. The FCFT Professional Dinner/Dessert Theatre Ensemble presents well-known comedies and dramas complete with catered meals. Past Professional Dinner Theatre Ensemble productions have included On Golden Pond, Little Shop of Horrors, The Boys Next Door and Twelve Angry Men.
FCFT also offers workshops, private acting lessons, production camps and production classes throughout the year. FCFT rehearsals and performances are held at the Fayette Family YMCA Black Box Theatre at 215 Huiet Rd., Fayetteville, during the months of August-May. FCFT events in June, July and early August are held at Christ’s Church at Whitewater on Hwy. 85 in Fayetteville. For more information, visit www.fcft.net or call (770) 599-0051 or (770) 251-7611.
The Powers’ Festival
Formerly the Powers Crossroads Country Fair & Art Festival, this Labor Day tradition, ranked as one of the top festivals in the Southeast, celebrates its proud tradition as host to innovative art exhibitions and heritage crafts. Welcoming as many as 15,000 annual visitors, it recently celebrated its 40th consecutive year on Labor Day weekend at the 100-acre historic Powers Plantation site, 10 miles west of Newnan, near Franklin, Ga.
Under a canopy of pines, visitors for more than a generation have found works of pottery, metal craft, sculpture, painting, fabric craft, glass, wood, etching, and much more. Demonstrations of crafts like spinning and blacksmithing entertain visitors. The diversity of art on display in the open air “gallery” gives the Powers’ Festival a reputation as fertile soil for harvesting unique art.
Enjoy shopping every month at the Country Store during PowerShopping Days each third Tuesday and the following Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sip cider, coffee, or tea, shop, visit, and walk the beautiful grounds to see more exhibits.
All events at Powers are produced by five Newnan-Coweta non-profit organizations which make up Coweta Festivals, Inc. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (770) 253-2011 or visit www.newnan.com/powers.
Raleigh Studios of Atlanta
Senoia has developed a burgeoning film industry. Many films and made-for-television movies have been produced in Coweta County including: Fried Green Tomatoes, Pet Sematary II, The War, Our Winning Season, Driving Miss Daisy, Sweet Home Alabama, TNT’s Andersonville, A Christmas Memory and the television series I’ll Fly Away. Recent films include Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns and Five Killers, starring Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl. Raleigh Studios of Atlanta has recently purchased the majority of developable land in the historic district of Senoia, and embarked on a historic infill project that is adding restaurants, retail, office and residential elements, all designed to blend seamlessly with the city’s early 1900’s architecture, and make the town even more conducive to future film projects (www.historicsenoia.com). Coweta County has played host to such celebrities as Sam Waterston, Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Costner, Reese Witherspoon, Cicely Tyson, Toby Keith, Kelly Preston, Burt Reynolds and Queen Latifah.
Cultural Arts Commission
Centre for Performing and Visual Arts
Coweta County Fairgrounds
Fayette-Coweta Family Theatre
(770) 599-0051; (770) 251-7611 www.fcft.net
Main Street Newnan
Newnan Community Theatre Company
(770) 254-2354 x 228