Dreaming big envisions a cultural center for generations to come

Q: I was dropping off library books at Sewell Mill for a friend and couldn’t help but notice there was a cultural center attached. Can you share what I didn’t have time to check out for myself?

A: You were at the hybrid Sewell Mill Library and Cultural Center in Marietta, which is only 15 months old.

“There are no other centers like ours in Georgia or nationwide that I am aware of,” Suzanne Anicette, Facility Arts Coordinator, said. “A number of state, county, local and community leaders/members were put in a room and told to ‘Dream Big,’ and that they did.”

The Cultural Center is a multi-platform offering cultural options.

“It’s a space for people to make art, observe art, participate in art at all levels pre-K through professionals,” said Anicette.

Amenities include an outdoor amphitheatre, art gallery/café, art classrooms and the black box theatre. Space is available for rental, but strictly art specific.

The amphitheatre is tiered with open seating to accommodate about 200 people. This summer they will host a concert series, and Cobb County Parks will show free summer movies.

The entrance brings you into the café (on your left) and the Carol and Jim Ney art gallery. The gallery rotates monthly.

“Artist groups and guilds, individual artists and most are local to Cobb County and Marietta community. Some are greater Atlanta area artists. We try to keep it as local as possible,” said Anicette.

The 20th piano from Play Me Again Pianos was donated to the center. Anicette, also a local artist and former visual arts teacher, painted the instrument. Named for Vincent VanGogh, “Vincent” was painted - modeled after “Starry Night.”

“I wanted something gallery specific, a master work. Very accessible and recognizable. I chose bright colors, for a ’come hither’,” said Anicette. “Children with no exposure, students to professionals have all played the keys.”

While Vincent is specifically for hands-on, Anicette is still dreaming of a baby grand for the theatre.

There is a trio of classrooms - ceramics and the other two are multi-media .

The Black Box theatre, with state-of-the-art sound and lighting, has raised seating and can accommodate up to 120 people. The CC has hosted a number of different community groups, local film makers, high schools and home school theatre groups.

“Cobb has done an amazing job at carving out a space for the arts because you don’t find that in communities of this size.”

Sewell Mill Library and Cultural Center is located across the street from Bruster’s at 2051 Lower Roswell Rd, Marietta (770-509-2711).

For more information, visit www.cobbcounty.org/parks/arts/sewell-mill-center

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