The Creative Arts Guild is the oldest multi-disciplinary community arts center in the state of Georgia.
Founded in 1963 by a group of civic leaders, the Creative Arts Guild began as a community grass-roots movement originally housed in the Old Firehouse on Pentz Street. The Guild began offering art, music, dance and theatre classes as well as gallery shows and exhibitions. As programming and class attendance grew, plans for a larger facility were developed. In 1981, the Guild moved to its permanent home at 520 West Waugh Street. The vision of that small group of patrons has grown into an organization that now houses four educational departments as well as our Arts in Education outreach programs, events, gallery exhibits, music and dance concerts and recitals and acts as a hub of culture for North West Georgia and South East Tennessee
As growth continues, various Creative Arts Guild programs have been offered from alternative locations. Currently the Guild's Visual Arts and Music Departments as well as the Guild's administrative offices are housed at the 520 West Waugh Street location. The Guild's Waugh Street location houses all private music lessons, group music classes and visual art classes. Waugh Street is also the home of the Guild's galleries and performance spaces - Gallery FIVE20, Gallery ONE11 and the Jonas Hall - hosting regular gallery exhibits and opening receptions as well as music concerts and performances. The Guild's Dance and Gymnastics Departments are located at 2518 Cleveland Highway. In the Cleveland Highway location there are 3 private studios, an art classroom and a full gym with two competition-sized floors, two sets of uneven bars, a tumble track, two vaulting systems, an incredible little tot gymnastics area and several beams. This location offers a large variety of dance and gymnastics classes as well as parkour and a few additional visual art classes.
The Creative Arts Guild is a non-profit organization as defined under section 510(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Service Code that is supported by instructional fees, commission sales, rental fees, donations from individuals, corporations and foundations as well as funds from the Georgia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Guild Also provides services to the City of Dalton to support the City's vision of progress and growth.
The Symbol of the Creative Arts Guild
The Guild’s logo was first used as a symbol for the Buonarroti Family (of Michelangelo renown) in Florence, Italy around 1150 A.D. The symbol became an integral part of the Buonarroti family crest and became synonymous with their honor, wealth and prominence.
During his childhood, Michelangelo saw this symbol everywhere from archways above the front door to letters written by his family. He started to use the symbol as a motif in many of his architectural designs to represent family, home, security and wealth.
The founders of the Guild in 1963 chose this symbol as it embodied many of the values they hoped the Guild would come to represent – security, family, home, honor, and a prominent spot in the hearts of the community as well as honoring the tradition of guilds where artisans learned their trades.