I was shocked and appalled when I read my Wednesday morning MDJ and saw that Marietta City Councilman Stuart Fleming had stated that he felt our hotel/motel tax dollars (spent on local museums and arts) had not been spent wisely!
On the contrary, we do not give these agencies enough! There is no better investment in tourism than to provide cultural arts (visual arts, music, theater, ballet) and historical educational opportunities which will entice visitors and residents to our fair city.
The museums and theater provide something to do after one enjoys our restaurants. Lots of visitors walking around in the evenings keep our Square safe. I am so proud that we are virtually crime free, and families are secure in visiting and enjoying the Marietta Square in the evenings.
To re-route the funds they get from the hotel-motel tax (which are not nearly enough) would be hard on each of the agencies. They need every dollar they can find to make ends meet.
The Marietta Museum of History holds the archives of our city. We are rich in history, and the museum, along with Cobb Landmarks’ Root House, the Old Zion Baptist Church, Brown Park Cemetery Memorial and Brumby Hall, are wonderful educational resources to teach our children and adults why and how we came to be the city that we are.
The Gone With the Wind Museum honors the work of Atlanta’s Margaret Mitchell, who wrote it to help tell the story of the devastation that reconstruction wrought on our city and Atlanta.
The joy of visual arts and creative opportunities bring life to any society. A city our size would be a poor choice for new business and relocaters without an art museum to boast about. The current exhibit at the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art drew hundreds of visitors to the Square on its opening night — many from Atlanta. And that happens all the time.
The Strand Theatre is the pulse of the Square, bringing quality shows that routinely attract visitors from all over North Georgia to the city to dine and spend their dollars. The beauty of dance is exemplified through our Georgia Ballet. We are so fortunate to have this tradition in Cobb, and we certainly don’t want to lose it.
We are not over losing Theater on the Square yet. The thought that any members of our council would even consider cutting funds to these treasures is outrageous. In fact, I would suggest increased funding to each and funding to the Georgia Symphony and Jennie T Anderson Theatre also.
There are counties in the metro area that have no sense of history. Marietta is known for the charm and character of the Square. But, without something to learn, see and do when people get here, that Square would not be a destination.
Kathy Thomas Young Marietta