Unveil your inner artiste with artistic explorations in Albany, Georgia

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Ray Charles Plaza

Located on the Flint River in southwest Georgia, an ideal stopping point, about an hour off I-10 and only 30 minutes from I-75, when en route to/from Savannah and Charleston or even Florida, Albany is a hub for arts and culture. Take, for instance, the city’s Art Park, an open-air community center in the heart of urban, downtown Albany, highlighting local artists and open to the public on Sundays.

The urban Art Park is also an event facility open to performances and gatherings. Visit Albany during the annual Color Run 5K and experience the Art Park first-hand during the after party. Or attend the Pink Parade Fashion Show, an annual fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness, and savor the sight of the colorful Art Park which serves as a unique backdrop for elements of the Show, including dance videos, photo shoots and media campaigns. In the sense of urban renewal, the Art Park has repurposed one of the oldest facades in Albany – one that was eyed for demolition when the Art Park idea was created.

While in Albany, broaden cultural horizons with a visit to the Albany Museum of Art, a free attraction home to a growing permanent collection of African, European and American art, including one of the most impressive collections of sub-Saharan African art to be found in the Southeastern United States. Tour the historic Carnegie Library, which houses the Albany Area Arts Council. Also, view art work exhibitions by regional artists.

Catch a show at the Albany Symphony Orchestra, which has been performing since 1965 and is a founding member of OPERAlbany, a cooperative project to present live, staged opera in South Georgia. Additionally, the organization is recognized statewide by the Georgia Association of Arts Agencies for its Celebration Concert performed at Mt. Zion Baptist Church highlighting the achievements of African American musicians in classical music; the Symphony has received multiple recognitions for adventurous programming by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publications (ASCAP) and the League of American Orchestras.

Continue artistic pursuits with a live performance at Theatre Albany, an award-winning organization that has offered outstanding performances since its inception in 1932, including popular Broadway plays and musicals, classic dramas, contemporary plays, and even original works. Check the schedules for both arts organizations to plan a visit around a performance.

Stop by the Welcome Center and delve into the performing arts with a free self-guided tour that takes you on a behind-the-scenes movie set excursion. During your visit, foodie fun unfolds at The Catch, a trendy nouveau southern cuisine seafood place; local treasure Austin’s BBQ and Oyster Bar; Pearly’s Famous Country Cooking; upscale Henry Campbell’s The Steakhouse; farm to fork Our Daily Bread; Riverfront Bar-B-Q; and pub-style Harvest Moon, with evening musical entertainment served on the side. Albany has more than two dozen hotels – many include complimentary breakfast and have the all-important swimming pool, among other amenities. MEDIA CONTACT: Albany Convention & Visitors Bureau, www.visitalbanyga.com, 1-866-750-0840.