Special to the Citizen
Co-chairs for the 2016 Madison in May Spring Tour of Homes and Gardens are Celia Visscher and Judy Schafer. Both are long-time volunteers for the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center (MMCC), sponsor of the tour. Visscher, who also chaired last year’s tour, is a local realtor who has been involved with the tour in numerous capacities since moving to Madison 12 years ago. Schafer, a retired Madison resident for 10 years, is also an avid MMCC volunteer assisting with several musical events as well as organizing the ladies of Madison Lakes to volunteer. Visscher and Schafer are excited about this year’s tour. “The tour will once again run three days, May 5, 6 and 7,” Visscher said. “We have a strong line up of homes including a mixture of 19th and 20th century houses. Every year several of our gracious citizens open their homes to the public, and we are always grateful for their support.”
“In addition to the homes and gardens, additional venues are also included in the price of the tour ticket,” Schafer added. “We encourage people to come for the tour and to stay overnight in Madison to shop, dine and enjoy all our town has to offer.” A performance by folk singer/songwriter John McCutcheon at 7:30 p.m., May 5, in the MMCC Auditorium is an added incentive for tour goers to stay in Madison for the weekend, Visscher added. This performance, part of the annual MMCC Chamber Music Festival, requires the purchase of an additional ticket. For the first time during the Spring Tour, Madison’s historic cemetery will be included. Self-guided tours, as well as a 30-minute docent-guided tour each day at 1:00 p.m., will be available. Also, admission to the Steffen Thomas Museum of Art has been added to the traditional line-up of tour venues and is included in the tour ticket price. Assisting Visscher and Schafer with planning for this year’s tour are the following members of the steering committee: Chris Lambert, house procurement; Sarah Burbach, house captains; Rebecca Rakoczy, hospitality; Emmie Smock, historic churches; Patricia Dubose, ticketing; Jamie Miller, logistics; Brad Rice, historic documentation; and Deneice Rice, publicity. In addition to homes and gardens, the self-guided tour features six historic churches, the Madison Morgan Cultural Center (MMCC) and additional historic buildings.
“Most of the homes are centrally located within walking distance of tour headquarters at MMCC or just an easy drive away,” Visscher commented. Tickets for a single day of touring or for multiple days may be purchased at MMCC or online at www.mmcc-arts.org. “We encourage people to drop by the Cultural Center or go online and purchase tickets as early as possible. Ticket prices increase beginning April 27 so getting them early is a savings,” Schafer explained. The annual spring tour of homes is sponsored by the Madison Morgan Cultural Center with proceeds from the tour supporting a variety of MMCC educational and cultural programs. One of the South’s first graded public schools, the building is a two-story, 1895 Romanesque Revival red brick structure that houses art galleries, a recreated 1890s classroom, a small museum and a fully restored auditorium.
The Cultural Center, located at 434 S. Main Street in Madison, is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. The Madison-Morgan Cultural Center is a multi-disciplinary nonprofit arts organization located in a renovated 1895 Romanesque Revival school building in historic Madison, GA. Through the performing and visual arts, the Center serves an 11 county area and maintains an active membership base. The Cultural Center is handicap accessible and offers hearing devices for its mainstage performances. For more information about the Cultural Center, please visit www.mmcc-arts.org or call 706-342-4743 (877-233-0598 toll free). The Center is located at 434 S. Main Street, Madison, GA.