Arts and Culture

Arts and Culture

Arts and entertainment options abound in our area—the real question for someone wanting to find something to do around town is “where to start?” From museums to galleries, festivals to films, there’s probably something for everyone.

Downtown Augusta has a rich history of entertainment reflected in some magnificent theatres on Broad St. That’s where you’ll find the Imperial Theatre, showing everything from local stage productions, to great regional bluegrass, rock, or soul concerts. If a little improv or maybe an edgier original play is more your speed, local black box theatre Le Chat Noir is always doing something unique.

Augusta Canal Boat Tour

Families love spending time at the Augusta Canal Interpretive Center at Enterprise Mill and taking a tour on one of their electric Petersburg boats. You can’t go wrong visiting the Augusta Museum of History. I love their James Brown exhibit, but with their vast collection, there’s surely something for everyone there. Our town even hosts the Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson, built in 1859. The site is maintained as a historic home you can tour Thursdays through Saturdays.

The Morris Museum of Art has a permanent collection spanning antebellum portraits to contemporary works, located on the Riverwalk the museum features extensive programing for families, aspiring artists and art lovers of all stripes. I’d also recommend visiting the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art for workshops or to take in a rotating exhibition. Tire City Potters have kept the fire burning downtown for years- check out one of their kiln openings for first crack at some beautiful hand made ceramics or visit their gallery space open daily.

Mixed in with small locally owned restaurants and specialty stores you can also find a number of little galleries focusing on painting, sculpture, jewelry, and gifts. There’s a homegrown quality to a lot of downtown’s independent businesses and the personality and creativity of their owners is half the fun. A fresh food and juice bar doubles as an art gallery and meeting space at the Humanitree House on 8th St. and at Sweet Sticks Skateboard Shop on Broad St. you’ll find the owners screen printing original designs on sweatshirts and offering kids’ discounts for good report cards.

Augusta also hosts enough festivals, outdoor concert series, and sporting activities to keep your calendar pretty full just about all year long.  While tourists and locals alike take part in watching the internationally known, Master’s Golf Tournament, catch exclusive acts during the Major Rager, Rock for Dough, or partake in the Partee on the Green. In September downtown transforms for the Arts in the Heart festival, where arts vendors and crafts people from all over the South East set up shop alongside foods stalls from almost every country imaginable. A relative newcomer, the annual Westobou festival brings contemporary art, music, and films to the garden city and is not to be missed.

As you can tell, there’s no shortage of things to do- I recommend getting out there, getting involved, and having some fun!

Matt Porter

About Matt Porter

Matt Porter is a museum educator, music writer, DJ and arts advocate from Oshawa, Ontario. He’s been calling Augusta home for the last seven years and is constantly inspired by the creative people he shares this city with.