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The arts deserves more support

From outstanding Broadway shows, local dance troupes, gifted musicians and talented artisans

Covington County truly is unique for a rural county. However, it is sad to note that more often than not, its citizens don't fully support the fine and performing arts on a level par with what is presented.

Often times, the shows presented by the Covington Arts Council are less than sold out - even in a theater as nice and cozy as the Dixon Center for the Performing Arts. The fine arts exhibitions often go unnoticed, and often, the only reason some people attend the ballet, dance recitals and band concerts is because their child is a participant.

That's such a depressing fact.

With such talented people in Covington County willing to work to bring us the gifts of entertainment and art that are truly the envy of other small towns and some big cities, we, as a community should be offering all the support we can.

People like Meryanne Murphy, Jan Little, Larry Strickland, Dorothy Sellars, Paula Harr and countless others are the ones who work to give Covington County a touch of culture and entertainment many would never have the opportunity to experience.

For this, we say a heartfelt "Thank you."

However, we need to return the favor to these hard workers. We need to show our support by showing up at their events, helping with whatever financial means we can muster.

You would be surprised at how far a little support can go.

Nothing feels as good as performing for a packed house. Selling your first painting. Having people appreciate your hard work.

There are many things still needed to bring the arts to a higher level in Covington County. A performing and fine arts center would be ideal.

A wonderful, large art gallery with a large 1,500 seat auditorium would be ideal for Covington County.

People may scoff, but it's true, and besides, you never know until you try.

We're not Birmingham or Mobile. We're not Montgomery, or even Dothan for that matter.

But, we are Andalusia, Opp, Red Level, Florala and Gantt. We are Covington County, and no one has ever told us we can't do something. Defying the odds - that's our nature.

We have a large, covered arena. It was said it couldn't be built and be successful. So far, it has been successful in the events it has hosted. It needs more. It needs to be a concert arena and sports events arena in addition to a horse arena. Even the people believe that to be the case. They have called for more concerts - shows that appeal to all ages, not just a few.

The Dixon Center is unmatched in the area.

Our sporting facilities are excellent. Andalusia is even hosting a major baseball tournament later this year.

Imagine the potential with finer arts facilities. We could be hosting major exhibitions and performances - and become an even bigger envy.

And remember, a lot of times new businesses like to locate in areas with strong cultural programs, but a hometown atmosphere.

Let's do our part. Let's support what we have and push for even more. The dividends are too numerous too count.