Saturday, May 26, 2007

Music Along the River

Celebrate Memorial Day weekend with not just one but two concerts--both of which are outside. There is just something about spending a beautiful evening outside along the river listening to great music.

On Sunday, May 27, grab a blanket or chair (maybe a picnic, too) and head down to the 8th Street Bulkhead for the Candlelight Jazz Series. Local jazz duo quietSTORM will fill the air with their own brand of smooth jazz. Admission is $6. The concert is from 8 - 9:30 p.m.

On Monday evening, May 28, the Augusta Concert band presents its annual Memorial Day tribute concert on the river. Admission is FREE. The 7 p.m. concert is at the Jessye Norman Amphitheatre.

Call 706.821.1754 for more information about either of these concerts.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Put in Your B.I.D.

A better quality of life through:
Cleaner streets.
A safer and more vibrant hub of activity.
A greater sense of pride in your community.
Graffiti removal.
Safety patrols.

Augusta will experience all this and MORE with the Business Improvement District. Affectionately known as B.I.D..

Downtown revitalization advocates from cities such as Columbus, Columbia, Knoxville, Charlotte and Atlanta already get it. They understood the impact of a B.I.D. and are currently realizing their city's potential. There are more than 1,500 cities across the country that have Business Improvement Districts and are enjoying the tremendous impact of private sector creativity toward persistent public problems.

The strength of the B.I.D. is that revenue generated from the B.I.D. would enhance current services and not replace them. Estimated revenue to be generated for Augusta's B.I.D. is $349,000. This is based on participation of stake holders of the nearly $131,000,000 in commercial property in the defined district. What's great about this is - those that pay the assessment through a petition will govern the funds. Money will be managed by and flow through a non-profit organization established by the stakeholders.

This is a definite WIN-WIN for our community and long over due. Get involved - be informed and help make Augusta's B.I.D. a shining example of Public/Private partnerships.

You can learn more about the Business Improvement District and how to get involved by contacting the Downtown Development Authority.

Friday, May 4, 2007

The Outsider

I know you guys have missed me, but personal matters have taken me out of the fray!

Sounds like great things are happening in downtown Augusta. Three exciting announcements were made this month: The possibility of a new baseball stadium, the new plans for the JB Whites Building, and a birthday celebration for the soul general. Starbucks? 40 something new condominiums? Peanuts and cracker jacks? Rhythm and Soul on Broad Street? There is a sense of excitement in the air and it is nice to see folks excited for a change.

Which brings me to another point…maybe that Branding Committee knew what they were doing…baseball bats swinging on the river front and folks swinging to music in the Common. Downtown Augusta is in Full Swing.!!!

I once again applaud Deke and this month and applaud a group that is working hard for downtown Augusta, the Downtown Development Authority. . A source tells me that their board meeting this month resulted in some very exciting projects:
  • Such as a $100,000 pilot lighting project…the 900 block of Broad will get 16 new light poles:
  • 10th Street streetscape…new sidewalks, trees and furniture for Bees Knees and CafĂ© 209.
  • Transportation Enhancement Grant application for new streetscape on the James Brown Blvd.
This board rocks!

If ideas wore skirts, Stacie Adkins in Columbia County would be running around buck naked from the waist down. Seems she has started a Farmers market in Columbia County for all those poor folks who can’t drive 15 minutes into downtown on Saturday Morning!

It’s not that competition is a bad thing…it’s the fact that she cannot come up with an original thought or idea in that little head of hers. What’ next? Here is an original new idea Stacie….

Close Fury Ferry’s Road on the first Friday of each month…ask vendors to sell plastic roses…have Ron Cross kick off a karaoke contest…and call it FREAKY FIRST FRIDAY!!!!

Reach the Outsider at

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Augusta Artists show in DC

The Mary Pauline Gallery took the work of Brian Rust, Tom Nakashima, Edward Rice and Philip Morsberger to an international art fair in DC. Our Augusta artists received lots of attention from the public attending the fair. Galleries from Belgium, England and Italy were positioned in their exhibition booths all around us. It was very exciting to see that four artists living and working in Augusta can produce artwork that holds up in an international fair.

But, the experience did not go without notice of many things. First no one outside of the US has heard of Georgia, and no one out of the South has ever heard of Augusta. (unless they are serious about golf) This is a blessing and a curse. The international galleries and audience do not care that you are from Augusta, GA, because they think that all of the US is really just a suburb of NY or LA. The NY and LA galleries "think we are all cow tipping sister F*&#%ing rednecks" (that is a quote from the director of a Richmond, VA gallery). But, what is really the most confusing is the people that have heard of Georgia. They see we are from Augusta, and then go on to say how much they love Atlanta. SO they really don't know what or where Augusta is either.

In conclusion we have a vibrant arts community that includes the Morris Museum, Gertrude Herbert Arts Institute, Artist Row, the faculty of Augusta State University. We need more recognition!!!