Museum lobbies to sell current property -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Museum lobbies to sell current property

January 31, 2007

Albany -- The Albany Museum of Art's plan to move downtown hits a roadblock that's slowing plans to build up downtown's cultural attractions. State money Darton College wanted to use to buy the current museum is being cut. Without the sale the museum can't afford to move.

Museum supporters hope you'll help them lobby to get the money back. Supporters say if that happens, downtown Albany will benefit.

Downtown business owner Tandra Singfield has helped people dress to impress for the past three years. At her Jackson Street business, foot traffic isn't always the best, but she hopes continued growth and development will help the area flourish.

"You have to stay positive. Everybody knows where their zone is, and what area's best for them. Just like some are leaving, others are coming," said Formal Etc. owner Tandra Singfield.

She hopes more businesses and customers will come, when Albany develops more of a cultural district downtown. An upcoming $4-million expansion of the Civil Rights Movement Museum will include artifacts and history of the Civil Rights Movement throughout the Southwest Georgia region. And over at the Thronateeska Heritage Center planners of a $3.8 million new planetarium and science discovery center hope to attract visitors.

"If visitors are coming to one location, they'll stop and see other things, and keep them from getting in their cars and leaving, is a big part of it," said Thronateeska Heritage Center director Tommy Gregors.

The plan for cultural growth also includes moving the Albany Museum of Art downtown, but plans to sell the current location are running into problems. Governor Sonny Perdue wants to cut money Darton College planned to use to buy the property. Now, the museum wants supporters to write local lawmakers to get it reinstated.

"By reaching out to museum supporters that they would let the lawmakers know that they feel it's important too for the museum to move downtown," said Albany Museum of Art director Rives Sexton.

The move and building up a cultural district downtown will bring more traffic for small businesses like Tandra Singfield's formal wear store.

"Any kind of traffic will help the city, and I think a cultural center will help the city of Albany," said Singfield.

She hopes the cultural district will include the museum too, so more people will come downtown, and she won't be left hanging without any business.

Museum Director Rives Sexton says they still hope to be able to move the museum to old Mule Barn on Broad Avenue downtown.

If you want to encourage lawmakers to reinstate the money for the current property purchase, the museum suggest you send the following letter to lawmakers:


As a supporter of the Albany Museum of Art (AMA), I am writing to ask that you support Darton's request for the appropriation of funding to purchase the current AMA building. Darton's purchase will facilitate the move of the AMA to downtown Albany. This move will increase traffic and commerce in downtown Albany and is viewed as key to creating a "cultural district" in downtown Albany. Thank you for your time and consideration in addressing this issue.



The Honorable Michael Meyer Von Bremen 404-656- 0037 121-F Capital Atlanta, GA 30334

The Honorable Winfred Dukes 404-656- 0126411-D State Capital Atlanta, GA 30334

The Honorable Ed Rynders 404-656-7855 401 State Capital Atlanta, GA 30334

The Honorable Freddie Powell Sims 404-656-0152 401-A State Capital Atlanta, GA 30334



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