George Link, Jr. Gilmer Arts PLAYHOUSE
In 1992, thirteen years after forming, Gilmer Arts (GA) inaugurated its flagship program, Bringing Ellijay Sensational Talent (B.E.S.T.) Series. This series brings premiere award-winning national and international talent to Ellijay four times a year. The Gilmer Arts Community Chorus was formed in 1999. It is led by choral directors from around the region, performing two concerts a year a mixture of secular, sacred and popular choral works by the 50+ member chorus. Around the same year the Gilmer Arts Community Theatre was formed. By 2013 the troup of actors, directors, costume and scenery staff officially formed the Gilmer Arts Players. The Players currently perform several community theatre productions and dinner theatre evenings per year.
Since 2005 the Gilmer Arts Players have performed in Hawthorne Hall in the gallery site at 207 Dalton St. in downtown Ellijay. A few years later GA began sponsoring live music concerts featuring local and regional performers. In 2011 they started a monthly event, Acoustic Blends, in which local talent performs in an ‘Open Mic’ format. To encourage and foster new performers, a First Sessions class precedes Acoustic Blends to help build the skills and confidence of novice performers who will play with seasoned talent and in front of an audience.
Gilmer Arts has always been a work in progress, striving to improve the quality of life in Gilmer County and North Georgia. Our Mission States “Gilmer Arts is a non-profit agency with a mission to promote passionate interest and active participation in the arts. We provide educational opportunities and sensational events in the visual, literary and performing arts for the people of Gilmer County and the surrounding area.”
The Board of Directors, several committees, volunteers, donors and grantors have worked together for the past two years to develop a superior live performance venue in an effort to fulfill the Gilmer Arts mission and vision statements.
With the purchase in June 2015 of the 1940s building at 135 Dalton Street in Historic Downtown Ellijay, supporters of the arts in Gilmer County and neighboring communities moved one step closer to making a permanent venue for live performances a reality in Ellijay. A generous gift from the George Link, Jr. Charitable Trust had given us a start for this incredible opportunity. The May 2016 announcement of a grant from the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s tourism program brought us $150,000 closer to our fundraising goal. With hard work done by the volunteers active in this project by December 2016, more than $565,000 had been raised — well above the original $500,000 goal.
Significant renovations have transformed this building into a 150-seat venue capable of hosting high quality performances, rehearsals and other events on 100+ nights per year. We are proud to present the George Link, Jr. Gilmer Arts PLAYHOUSE. We look forward to sharing our calendar of great entertainment that begins with our grand opening Labor Day Weekend 2017.
The George Link, Jr. Gilmer Arts Playhouse is supported in part by a grant from the State of GA Department of Economic Development and Tourism.