It is comprised of its own professional theatre company, five art galleries, a children’s gallery, a gift shop, classrooms, production space and administrative space.
Founder and Artistic Director David Thomas is one of the driving forces of the center, which has been given several awards for its innovation and leadership. Most recently, ART Station earned the Arts Engagement in American Communities award by the deputy director of the National Endowment for the Arts.
“David is very passionate and goes above and beyond what most people would do,” said Fawn Lowery, a fused glass artist at the center. “He is definitely the force behind the station and trying to make Stone Mountain Village an art and cultural destination.”
The center provides arts for children, teens and adults year round. The next summer series is the Children’s Theatre Series, every Thursday at 11 a.m. Due to the high response from the community almost all of the shows are sold out.
“We are adding more shows at 2 p.m. to accommodate everyone,” Thomas said. “What happens is children’s daycares bus their groups in to see the shows so they fill up quickly.”
The Children’s Theatre Series includes storytelling and a unique production of Cinderella.
The next adult production begins Aug. 1 and is a musical called the “Marvelous Wonderettes,” a girl group that takes you back to 1958 performing 50s and 60s classic songs. At the conclusion of these performances Aug. 18, ART Station will be closing for remodeling.
The center received a donation of $100,000 and used the money to begin a fundraising campaign to match the amount.
“A lot of the things we will be upgrading won’t even be noticed by the public because they are technical things such as a new digital sound system and LED lights,” Thomas said. “But our actors and technicians will notice because LED lights are not hot and they can see the audience as opposed to the blinding lights we use now.”
They will also get new seats, curtains and a new theatre space that will have performances every Saturday night. The grand reopening of the facility is Sept. 28.
The center will kick off the reopening with its popular storytelling festival, “A Tour of Southern Ghosts.” The tour takes place at Stone Mountain Park’s Antebellum Plantation and runs Oct. 12 through 28.
Along with performances and storytelling at the theatre, ART Station is well known for its galleries and Art Incubator program.
It hosts several juried exhibitions and different art classes in visual arts, mixed media, pottery, architecture, writing, acting and publishing for children and adults.
The Art Incubator program’s mission is creating an environment for artists to build and share their work in the community while collaborating with other artists to open an artistic business of their own.
“Each one of the artists is unique, we love what we do and we just want to share our talents with others,” Lowery said.
Lowery has been part of the program for a year and a half now and said she loves being able to show off her work in her own studio space.
The list of artistic opportunities at ART Station goes on for days. The staff, artists, tourist and locals who inhabit the center have watched it grow throughout the past 29 years.