I live in a small rural town. It’s called Commerce and we a little northwest of Athens, Georgia. Things run at a slower pace here. We’re a family-oriented community. During football season, you can bet most people spend Friday nights under the lights cheering for our team.
That doesn’t make us boring or stuck in the past. On the contrary, we have been moving along quite nicely – we’re just doing it at our own speed. We don’t see the need to fix things that aren’t broken and we’re proud of our southern heritage. A short walk down main street will make our rich history obvious in the beautiful historic spaces that still stand as a reminder to a time when Commerce was a thriving economic hub for the area.
Though the world may have sped ahead for the last couple of decades, bound for point unknown on I-85 or the 441 bypass, Commerce wasn’t left behind completely. We still have the beautiful bones of a large main street, with the added charm of a train route running through the center of town.
We have a great Mainstreet Manager and a dedicated group of volunteers who want Commerce to be the place people go to eat and shop. We want our community to thrive and we want to share it with the world. One of the ways we are building interest in our community is by increasing cultural activities.
Some of you may be familiar with the Cold Sassy Players. Our community theater group meets and works out of the Cultural Arts Center in the historic Presbyterian Church. We have an annual Folk to Fine Arts festival that draws artists and craftsmen from several states every March. Last fall the city started hosting a monthly concert series and we have a talent show coming up at the Cultural Arts Center.
Leading up to the launch of the concert series last year, our Mainstreet Manager coordinated with local artists and property owners in the historic district to put public murals in place on some of the historic buildings and old walls throughout town. This spring, she coordinated with the Jackson County Arts Council and our elementary school students to organize a Water Walk Project.
Artists and members of our community have been painting all of the hydrants around town based on designs submitted by the students. I have been so swamped with personal projects that mine seems to be taking forever. I managed to make a little progress over the last week, so I thought I’d post an update here. I will make a final post when the project is completed.