JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — With the completion of a financial feasibility study and the launch of a new website and social media pages, the Legacy Center of Johns Creek is one step closer to becoming a reality.

At jclegacyarts.org, residents and supporters can find the latest updates and plans for a 83,000-square-foot community center and performing arts venue.

Wayne Baughman, chairman of the Legacy Center Task Force and founder and music director of the Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra, says the facility is envisioned as more than a comprehensive arts venue, but also a place for community gatherings.

“It will not only be a place for the community to enjoy and participate in the complete spectrum of the arts: music, dance, visual arts and theater,” Baughman said. “It is envisioned to be a strong economic driver for both the arts and the greater community of Johns Creek.” 

Thanks to the support of Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausmann, the project is the recipient of a $250,000 county arts grant. Although the coronavirus pandemic has slowed development, the task force is beginning to ramp up its fundraising efforts.

“Many community and government leaders consider the Legacy Center to be a top priority and potential anchor in the development of a city center for Johns Creek,” Baughman said.

The task force, made up of political leaders, arts professionals and community volunteers, considers the area around the Johns Creek City Hall as one of the optimum locations for the facility.

Plans include a professional-quality performance venue with at least 700 seats, a large rehearsal and banquet room, a new home for the Johns Creek Arts Center, gallery space in the lobby and office spaces.

“These amenities do not currently exist in the Johns Creek area and several independent studies have confirmed that they would be well-supported by the residents and businesses in and near Johns Creek,” Baughman said.

More details about these studies can be found on the website. For a steady flow of earned income, the Legacy Center would host business events and a range of local and touring concerts and shows.

“But, at its heart, it will be a place for creating, exhibiting, rehearsing, performing and teaching the arts and culture by and for the citizens of Johns Creek,” Baughman said.

The financial feasibility study notes there is currently not enough support to build a Legacy Center solely through private funding. The lack of a significant corporate presence in the city places a disproportionate financial burden on private citizens to fund a capital campaign, it says. The study recommends a significant financial commitment from the city of John Creek.

Carson Cook is an Editor with Appen Media Group and covers Johns Creek, Dunwoody and Fulton County.

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