Johns Creek wants cultural arts board, no lack of good candidates

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JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – You may have to go ask Howie Mandel if America’s got talent, but if you want to know if Johns Creek has talent, Mayor Mike Bodker is the man to ask.

It all started when the mayor jumpstarted the Public Art Council, the Leadership Johns Creek project that sought to establish guidelines for public art and a board to advise the City Council on submissions.

At the July 14 council workshop, Bodker brought forth the suggestion for a cultural arts council. After much fanfare two years ago, the Public Art Council lay dormant because nobody on the council at that time would bring any candidates forward.

After the first of the year, Bodker began lobbying for candidates for public art and this time, he got more than enough.

“We have a lot of incredibly qualified nominees who are volunteering to serve the city. We shouldn’t let this talent go to waste,” Bodker said.

The duties of a cultural arts council would be to make recommendations and advise the City Council on ways to improve the various cultural arts offerings within the city.

“The overall goal would be to have Johns Creek become known as having a vibrant cultural arts environment. It is important for the city’s quality of life,” Bodker said. “But it is also important for the city’s economic development too.”

Seven is the typical number of members who serve on the city’s boards and commissions, so that would be the number for cultural arts.

“We have many, many more great nominees – many more than we could put on the Public Art Board,” Bodker said. “Many would have been more qualified for the cultural board than public art. That was where their past experience was.”

So Bodker put it to the council that if they wanted to go forward with a cultural arts board spanning music, art, performing arts and music, he was prepared to fill the post from among the nominees already submitted.

However, if they chose, councilmembers could bring forward more nominees for consideration at the July 21 meeting.

If the nominees in hand are used, Bodker said he would go forward with that straightaway. If more are added, he still thought the turnaround could be accomplished in a couple of months.

It would be this new board’s job to give direction to the kinds of cultural directions the city could go.

“If you look at many of the iconic public art projects, many of them are not on public property, but private property,” the mayor said.

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