The mission of the Community Arts Association in Newton County is to encourage youth and adults in the community to participate in the arts both as audience and as artists and to present world-class artists to all the citizens of this area.
The Community Concert Association of Newton County was founded in 1989 after the successful launching of the Porter Concert Series through the Newton County Schools in 1984. In the 1989 season, ten concerts were presented with a $125,000 annual budget. Concerts on the Square were begun in 1990 and continue to be held each Thursday in May and September; in addition, annual monthly summer evening concerts were added in 2009 in collaboration with Main Street Covington. In 1991, the first children's education program was begun and evolved into Oxford Singing Children, an auditioned children's choir for grades 4-7, and in 2000, Oxford Youth Singers, an auditioned youth choir was added for grades 8-12. In 1993, in-school residency performances were added in collaboration with the Newton County Schools; in the 2012-13 school year, five residencies were presented. In 1998, an annual Creative Kids Camp was begun on the campus of Oxford College of Emory University for elementary school students with camp graduates in middle and high schools serving as counselors. In 2001, the Covington Regional Ballet Company and the Community Band came under the newly named organization, Community Arts Association in Newton County Inc., establishing the organization as the umbrella arts organization for the community. In 2005, the organization added a visual arts exhibit, True Colours, in collaboration with the Newton County School System, and in the summer of 2011, the organization hosted its first annual Musical Theatre Camp, a two week long summer intensive in Broadway music, drama and dance, for grades 4-12. A contemporary dance performance at Oxford College was presented in the fall of 2012, and was added to the annual arts series. In May of 2013, the Arts Association assumed the operations of Mainstream Dance to bring the studio and the Arts Association’s Covington Regional Ballet Company together under the same organization and direction, enabling the long-term sustainability, growth and development of both the company and the studio working toward the same mission and goals—providing a natural feeder system for new dancers for the company as well as a new and much needed revenue stream to support the three annual dance productions. During the summer of 2014, the organization increased its programming to offer weekly summer camps with the addition of Princess and Pirate camps, Acting Camp, Summer Dance Intensives and Summer Dance Camps. In August of 2014, the organization began the Newton County Youth Strings (NCYS) with Suzuki private lessons in cello, violin and viola and a community youth orchestra. The Arts Association has a $600,000 annual budget and serves Newton County and seven surrounding counties with its programming, offering scholarships for at-risk students.