Formed in the early 1960s, the Southwest Georgia Art Association obtained its not-for-profit status in March 1964 with its first paid staff members hired in 1975. The association's name was officially changed to the Albany Museum of Art at the beginning of a capital campaign for a new building in 1980. On September 5, 1983, the citizens of Albany and Southwest Georgia opened a new museum facility, located adjacent to the west Campus of Albany State University. The growing collection of the AMA now includes 19th and 20th century American and European paintings, drawings, sculptures, watercolors, prints, and photographs and what has become one of the largest collections of traditional African art in the Southeast outside of a university setting. The Museum facility contains six gallery spaces, a museum store, a 200-seat, multi-functional auditorium, an interactive children’s gallery, and a classroom for studio arts. On January 2, the Albany Museum of Art 's facility sustained serious damage from the straight-line winds that blew through the city on January 2, 2017. Just seven months later, the museum reopened three galleries located on the first floor, the museum sales gallery, classroom and auditorium.
The Albany Museum of Art takes pride that it is a well-managed system that operates with distinction. For more than 25 years, this Southwest Georgia gem has served as a national model by meeting the highest standards of the museum field by gaining and maintaining accreditation—a mark held by only three percent of institutions nationwide. It is notable for its permanent collection and temporary exhibitions, interpreted through educational programs.
It receives approximately 30% of its operating support from the Museum’s endowments, but also raises private money for additional staff, programs, acquisitions, and exhibitions. The Georgia Board of Regents owns the 5-acre tract of land where the museum is located, the while the building, collection and endowment are held by the Albany Museum of Art. Admission is always free.
For more information, visit albanymuseum.com
Thronateeska Heritage Center is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization incorporated in 1974 for the purpose of historic preservation and science education in Albany and Southwest Georgia. Thronateeska is located at Heritage Plaza, the 100 block of West Roosevelt Avenue in Albany, on the only remaining brick street in the city.
Thronateeska's campus includes a history museum, science museum, rail car display, a 40' full dome HD planetarium, the Georgia Museum of Surveying & Mapping, and the South Georgia Archives. The museum facilities are housed in historic structures and new construction designed to reflect and retain the railroad heritage of the area.
For more information, visit heritagecenter.org.
The Albany Civil Rights Institute is a museum in Albany, Georgia that tells the story of the civil rights movement in southwest Georgia. Consisting of the Old Mount Zion church (site of one of the first mass meetings of the Albany Movement) and a 12,315 square foot museum space adjacent to the church, ACRI is uniquely able to bring together community members, movement veterans, historians and visitors to discover and acknowledge the rich history of the southwest Georgia civil rights struggle.
ACRI consists of an exhibit space packed with interactive exhibits, a large multipurpose room, an outdoor garden facility, and state-of-the-art audio and visual technology. By immersing visitors in the culture and conflicts of the 1960s, ACRI allows visitors to experience the evolution of everyday citizens into the courageous activists of the Albany Movement.
Community leaders and the ACRI board of directors have come together to help the Institute secure the state-of-the-art resources it needs to pursue its mission. The museum space is made possible by support from the Albany City Commission, the Mt. Zion Baptist Church and generous donors in Albany and from around the country.
For more information, visit albanycivilrightsinstitute.org.
The park was named after the Chiha, or Chehaw, a tribe of Creek Indians who lived throughout the property and befriended white settlers. Artifacts such as arrowheads, spearheads, tomahawks, hoes, drill, scrapers, clay pipes and stone celts were commonly found during original park development. Variations in artifact design show the land was used by distinctly different tribes over several hundreds of years.
For more information, visit chehaw.org.