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Visitors from across the state to descend on Mars
Stop at theatre to be part of GMA convention in Savannah
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GMA visit to the Mars
• When: June 27
• Who: Attendees at the annual Georgia Municipal Association convention.
• Extra: Jim Lauderdale and Savannah’s The Accomplices will be in concert that night at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. Visit for more.

The Mars Theatre is preparing to welcome visitors from around the state.

Approximately 100 officials from across Georgia will descend on Springfield’s Mars as part of a Georgia Municipal Association field trip. The GMA, the organization that represents and lobbies on behalf of the state’s nearly 500 cities and towns, will gather at Savannah’s International Trade and Convention Center for its annual convention June 26-30.

“It’s a way to show other cities what we’re doing and show the success of the Mars,” said Tommy Deadwyler, Springfield’s director of cultural affairs. “We’ll have the ability to share the story of the Mars with others around the state. We’re real excited about that.”

The theme of this year’s GMA convention is “Creative Impact,” and one of the presentations during the weekend is a joint study by the GMA and the Georgia Council for the Arts that explores using public financing in the arts and its role in economic development. Springfield was one of five cities used in the case study, along with Athens, Blue Ridge, Duluth and Thomasville.

The GMA reached out to Springfield to host an event, City Manager Brett Bennett said.

“That fell in line with the theme of the conference,” he said.

Also on the bill for the June 27 visit is an 8 p.m. show from Grammy Award-winning Americana artist Jim Lauderdale.

Deadwyler will be one of the panelists for a June 28 discussion about the joint GMA-GCA case study. He will be joined by elected officials, city staff, arts groups representatives and business leaders on how cities came up with ways to connect with local arts communities and how those collaborations have impacted the larger community.

“We’re already learning strategies we can incorporate into Springfield as well,” Deadwyler said. “It’s great exposure for the city of Springfield.”