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Let’s chat about arts or anything

Welcome to my new column.

You’ve read my byline many times here in the Herald, I’m sure. I often write about the local entertainment scene and occasionally touch on other topics as well. I hope to write about local fare in this column, but venture beyond the boundaries of the Bradenton/Sarasota area, too.

This space will serve as a conversation between you and I, which means your thoughts and ideas are welcomed. I’m thankful for the readers who send me interesting tidbits that I post from time to time on the Buzzworthy blog at Oftentimes, the information involves a local person or a group making their acting, dancing or singing dreams come true.

I’ve been amazed at the talented and passionate visual and performing artists I’ve met in the area during my three years working at the Herald.

Arts and culture have always been a part of my world in some way. When I tell people where I’m from, they immediately understand. I grew up in Savannah, Ga. — the Hostess City, as it is nicknamed. It’s the home of culinary queen Paula Deen and the eclectic Savannah College of Art and Design, otherwise known as SCAD — probably the only other private arts school in the Southeast that rivals the Ringling College of Art and Design.

Savannah is best known for its downtown historic district — the charming plethora of city squares and the eye-catching architecture of the 18th and 19th century that was spared by General W.T. Sherman during his fire-burning march to the sea during the Civil War.

Downtown Savannah is where I took many a field trip as a youth to learn about the history behind those beautiful city squares, to watch the symphony, to see a few plays and to enjoy the visual arts. My teachers were passionate about their craft, not just science and English, but drama and chorus. So I caught their bug and got pulled in too.

My early days in journalism took me on a different course, though. I covered cops and courts in the military town of Hinesville, Ga., then moved on to county and community feature news covering South Carolina’s Jasper County, the folksy town of Bluffton and island paradise of Hilton Head.

Then I came here to a virtual arts mecca. You can read my coverage of the arts and everything else on, on the Buzzworthy blog and even on Twitter at accent — and now here in this column, too.

So until next time, take care.

January Holmes, features writer, can be reached at 745-7057.