The Moultrie Service League has fervently built the arts in Colquitt County since the late 70’s, when plans were instituted to purchase the old Moultrie High School and convert it into a cultural arts center, which is now our beloved Colquitt County Arts Center. The League’s efforts and fundraising over the years have built, repaired, and aided in sustaining the Arts Center, which continues today with the ladies successful work in events, such as Santa Stroll & Roll, Charleston Wrap, and Gourmet to Go.
Focusing now on children and the arts, the mission of the Moultrie Service League is to provide opportunities to the children of our community through an alliance with the Arts Center. A vision was seen for the development of a children’s interactive arts museum in 1999 and plans were quickly implemented, and it didn’t take long for the hard working ladies of the league to arrange, design, and build what is now “Kaleidoscope: A Hands On Adventure for Children”. With constant cuts in our education budget across the country, it is unfortunate that fine arts are among the first to be taken out of our children’s curriculum. Seeing this crucial need in the development of our children in Colquitt County, the League has made sure they fill that gap as best as possible. Originally starting with just second graders visiting the museum twice a year, it has proven, now, to be such a success that our school board has also opened up the opportunity, and partnered with the Service League and Arts Center to offer this opportunity to all fourth grade students, as well. Mrs. Harvie Ann Cox, the Education Coordinator and Curator for the Kaleidoscope, passionately feels that “reaching every child in the second and fourth grade is major. They get to find their art voice, work with so many different art mediums and not feel the pressure of having to produce a perfect piece of art.” Mrs. Cox works with these children on watercolor paints, drawing techniques, weaving, clay molding, and even hand making paper from lint, to name a few. The Moultrie Service League provides docent workers everyday a class is in the museum. Mrs. Cox describes the League workers as “angels and are invaluable”. Laura Malone, past president of the Moultrie Service League, feels that one of the greatest opportunities the League provides is with the museum and providing “art education in our community” for our children. Working in the Kaleidoscope Museum over the years has shown Laura “that children are so creative, and they thrive with the expression of art. It is so interesting to see everyone’s extremely different personalities come out in the drawings, paintings, and art design.”
A wonderful vision shared by the Moultrie Service League and the Colquitt County Arts Center is to one day provide these services to all elementary grade levels. “I hope their art experience will remain as a positive life experience and encourage them to pursue art,” Mrs. Cox states. As one well known art book author, MaryAnn F. Kohl says, “Art is as natural as sunshine and as vital as nourishment.” When you support the arts for children, you’re supporting so much more than a piece of artwork or a physical building. You are inspiring and fostering imagination and creativity, which in some cases has yet to be fostered, until they step foot in the Kaleidoscope Museum. Mrs. Cox believes that you never know “where they might go with an interest in art inspired by their Kaleidoscope experience.”
For more information regarding the Kaleidoscope Museum and the services at the Colquitt County Arts Center please call 229-985-1922.