In the late 1970s a group of forward-looking community members joined
together in an effort to protect their beautiful and historic Nacoochee
Valley. They were successful in having the Valley placed on the National
Register as an historic district. Spurred on by success, the group formed
the Sautee-Nacoochee Community Association. Their mission was to conduct
By the fall of 1981 the group had submitted a rural preservation study
to the State of Georgia; the following May the National Trust for Historic
Preservation honored the
young organization with an award for its study.
SNCA representatives were invited to the White House to receive it.
Within months, notice came of a second national award, this one from
the American Society of Landscape Architects.
The group then turned to protecting the Sautee Valley and lending support
to the local community in cooperative conservation efforts. In the summer
of 1986, the Sautee Valley was added to the National Register of Historic
Places. Later that same year, the Association made a decision to broaden
its mission. The members voted to purchase the Nacoochee School building
with the intent of developing an arts and community center to benefit
the region. Plans were set in motion for a ten-year renovation project
to restore the property and its buildings.
In 1990 the Association hosted its first major summer event, the ECHOTA
Performing Arts Festival. The first Tellabration, Yuletide Festival,
music concert, and children's theatre production followed. Two years
later, the first art exhibit featuring local artists and the first museum
exhibit were opened to the public. Meanwhile, the group's environmental
work continued, and in the fall of 1993, SNCA became a charter member
of the Environmental Fund for Georgia.
Today the Sautee Nacoochee Community Association is a thriving operation.
The renovated school building houses a 100-seat theatre, a conference
room, a history musuem, dance and art studios, an environmental education
resource center, and an art gallery. The newest addition is a museum
devoted to the folk pottery of Northeast Georgia. The extensive
programming schedule includes events developed in-house as well as
those of touring groups. The Association continues to play an active
role in local as well as regional environmental and historic preservation.
Because of the extensive arts programming offered in recent years,
Sautee was designated one of the "100 Best Small Art Towns in America"
in a book by the same name written by John Villani.
In the spring 0f 2000, the high quality and range of SNCA's arts programming
earned recognition from the Georgia Council for the Arts as number one
among arts organizations with budgets of comparable size in the state.
Largely due to a dedicated volunteer work force and the generosity
of its membership, the Association has become a vital resource in
the community. "Community" now includes not only local residents but
over 800 members from Maine to California. The Association relies
on members near and far to continue its good works.
We seek to be a model of what can be accomplished with commitment,
hard work, and team effort. We hope you will consider joining us. Your
membership dollars will help us continue to work toward fulfilling our
mission to nurture creativity and preserve the beloved resources of