by Amy K. Lavender

University of West Georgia’s School of the Arts (SOTA) students recently took the stage at The Amp in Carrollton to “Amp Up the Arts” during the annual Imagine West! event.
“Now in its fourth year, Imagine West! is a great way for the community to sample some of the programming that the School of the Arts offers,” said SOTA Director Chad Davidson. “There are lots of activities for the kids. It’s a real festival-style event right in the heart of Carrollton.”

Each year, Imagine West! welcomes members of the community to witness what UWG’s art, theatre, music, and creative writing students have to offer in a variety-show style event that showcases their multifaceted talents.

Before the show started, however, local families were invited to take advantage of the Imagination Station for kids. Activities included piano board dancing, puppet making, face painting, pottery throwing, and much more.

The UWG Marching Band, led by Cale Self, kicked off the official start of the evening with samplings from their half-time show. With the help of student emcee Candice McClellan, a series of acts took the stage and included a couple songs from the theatre department’s upcoming performance “Side Show,” such as a duet sung by Abagail Dawkins and Taylor Bahin, who play Daisy and Violet Hilton – Siamese twin sisters – in the upcoming production.

Carrollton City Councilman Gerald Byrd also stopped in during the festivities to tell the crowd about his new organization, the Institute of Imagination, located across the street from The Amp. Gerald said his goal was to encourage both kids and adults to use their imagination and express their creativity.

Before the lights were turned down so the crowd could enjoy some creative short films, students Lucas Chance and Mark Hendrix entertained the crowd with some humorous creative readings; Kara Huffman and Candice McClellan performed monologues; and Benjamin Lively and Alex Singleton performed a saxophone duet.

The night’s events were just a small taste of everything SOTA has to offer this semester. For more information on upcoming shows and events, visit or

Posted on October 15, 2015