Incubator of Ideas and Action
The Willson Center for Humanities and Arts kicked off its 30th anniversary celebration with a gala reception in its offices at the charmingly restored old house on Lumpkin Street across from the UGA track field. The walls were (and still are) adorned with an exhibit of Margie Spalding’s lush floral paintings, and the swarm of guests was fortified with substantial delicacies by home.made.
The Center rose to its present prominence thanks to the generosity of a couple of successful South Georgia pecan farmers, Jane and Harry Willson, who were nutty enough to invest in the promotion of research and creativity in the humanities and the arts.
Such a center could of course be a place where people lounge around sipping wine and pontificating about deconstructing post-modernism. Instead, driven by the intellectual athleticism of Nicholas Allen, its current director, the Willson Center crams the campus with a continuous smorgasbord of art, ideas, dance, music, film, food and drama. After 30 years of such endeavors, the Willson Center’s tentacles reach into every area of the campus involved in the exploration of life’s rich panoply. The Center is like a supercharger for the intellectual life of the university, supporting and enhancing the work of faculty and students and constantly bringing in a plethora of top-notch talent, helping us grapple with issues that profoundly affect our ability to survive in our fast-changing world.
Voice of Our Athens
Meanwhile, another UGA institution celebrates its 30th anniversary. WUGA 91.7 FM went on the air Aug. 28, 1987, and it has been our NPR station ever since. WUGA has always struggled with meager resources and bureaucratic indifference, but they started a radio station from scratch and have kept it going for 30 years. The main ingredient right from the beginning has been talented people figuring out how to make radio work, and the…