Deal Honors Contributors in Arts and Humanities

Gov. Nathan Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal today announced the recipients of the seventh annual Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities. The awards were presented in partnership with the Georgia Council for the Arts and Georgia Humanities.

“Georgia is a state that values creativity and prizes artistic innovation,” said Deal. “Sandra and I have long been supporters of our state’s vibrant arts culture, humanities and expressions of creativity. Today, our state’s creative industries provide some 200,000 jobs for Georgians and generate $62.5 billion in economic impact. These critical sectors serve as catalysts for community revitalization and local economic development while also fueling tourism and spurring innovation. I congratulate the recipients of the 2018 Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities and thank these individuals and organizations for their contributions to the cultural vitality and prosperity of our state.”

Ten members of Georgia’s arts and humanities communities were selected following nominations from around the state. The recipients represent a diverse group of individuals and organizations that have contributed to and supported the growth of Georgia’s thriving creative industries through community involvement, pioneering programs and long-term financial commitment.

The recipients of the 2018 Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities are:

Athens Ciné, Athens

Friends of Historic Jekyll Island, Jekyll Island

Historic Oakland Foundation, Atlanta

Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection, Atlanta

National Black Arts Festival, Atlanta

Pearl Cleage, Atlanta

James S. Crisp, Macon

Janice Faircloth, Thomasville

Azira G. Hill, Atlanta

Ellen Thompson, Dalton

Detailed information about the recipients is available at

About the 2018 award

The 2018 Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities were handcrafted by Valdosta-based folk artist Amy Lansburg. Lansburg uses driftwood to create one-of-a-kind, mixed media artwork.

About the award partners

The Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) is a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development that works to cultivate the growth of vibrant, thriving Georgia communities through the arts. GCA provides grant funding and statewide programs and services that support the vital arts industry, preserve the state’s cultural heritage, increase tourism and nurture strong communities. Funding for GCA is provided by appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit

Georgia Humanities promotes and preserves the stories and cultural legacies of the state’s people — from the past to the present and into the future — to enrich their lives and strengthen their communities. An informed and educated Georgia understands historical and cultural trends, respects the life of the mind, utilizes critical thinking in decision-making, and promotes mutual respect and civility. Funding for Georgia Humanities is provided by the Georgia General Assembly, the National Endowment for the Humanities, foundations, donors and partners. For more information, visit

Sen. Steve Gooch Announces First Meeting of the Senate Study Committee on Evaluating the School Year Calendar of Georgia Public Schools

Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega) recently announced that the first meeting of the Senate Study Committee on Evaluating the School Year Calendar of Georgia Public Schools will be held TODAY, October 9, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. in room 307 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building.

Sen. Gooch will serve as Chairman of the committee and members will include Sen. Mike Dugan (R – Carrollton), Sen. John Wilkinson (R – Toccoa), Sen. Jack Hill (R – Reidsville), Mr. Grier Todd, appointed by Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, Deputy Commissioner of Tourism for the Georgia Department of Economic Development Kevin Langston, Georgia Chamber of Commerce designee Michael Owens, Director of the Georgia Travel Association Kelsey Moore, Executive Director of the Georgia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus Jay Markwalter, Camila Knowles, appointed by Governor Nathan Deal, and State Board of Education designee Scott Johnson.

The Senate Study Committee on Evaluating the School Year Calendar of Georgia Public Schools was created by the passage of Senate Resolution 1068 during the 2018 Legislative Session. The committee will review the effect of varied school start dates on the travel and hospitality industries while ensuring that there will be no disruption to the education of Georgia’s children

Collins Fights to Make Elberton Post Office Handicap Accessible

WASHINGTON—Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) has written to the United States Postal Service in Washington today requesting action on behalf of residents of Elberton, Ga.

Currently, the post office there is inaccessible to residents with limited mobility, but the Postal Service has declined the community’s proposal to use local resources to make the facility handicap-accessible.

“As you may recall, I wrote to you on October 3, 2017 regarding the Elberton, Georgia Post Office, after it was brought to my attention that no ramp, walkway, or elevator exists that permits traditional handicap access at that location. In that letter, I requested your assistance in reviewing the availability of proper handicap access at the Elberton facility, and I asked that the Postal Service make the necessary changes to facilitate appropriate, safe, and comfortable access to this post office for all whom it serves,” wrote Collins.

“I am deeply concerned that barriers to access at the Elberton Post Office persist a year after my office raised concerns on behalf of Elberton residents, and I encourage the Postal Service to prioritize the accessibility of its public facilities across the nation. Over the past year, my office has worked with the community of Elberton to find possible solutions to ensure that everyone can access this public facility. The City of Elberton and a number of local organizations are willing to donate the resources needed to make the physical improvements to the facility. The community would fully implement these proposed improvements in order to provide disability access without prompting potentially extensive and costly efforts associated with changes to the Post Office’s [Americans with Disabilities Act] and [Architectural Barriers Act] exemptions,” he continued.

“I believe working with community partners to make the facility more accessible to residents would be mutually beneficial. While the existing policy may be well-intentioned, I encourage you to consider the impact that it may have by preventing the post office from improving its service to the community. I respectfully request that you provide my office with the reasoning behind this policy and allow the community to make physical improvements that enhance the facility’s accessibility to customers with limited mobility. I look forward to your reply and appreciate your attention to this matter.”

Collins’ letter is available in its entirety here.