Arts In The Heart Patrons Talk Slum Designation - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Arts In The Heart Patrons Talk Slum Designation

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Augusta, GA -

The 33rd Annual Arts in the Heart Festival is a celebration of the city's diversity. Each year, thousands of people attend the event to see what downtown Augusta has to offer.

"I'm always interested to see the influx of cultures and all the artistic work that is out here to look at," Martinez resident Dee Spencer says.

"It's the beautiful faces and the good food and having fun with the family," North Augusta resident Larry Cunningham says.

But for some people, there is a dark cloud over the downtown area after some city leaders tried to have it designated a slum.

"I use to love to come here at night when I first moved here, and it seems like things are not safe. So I guess everywhere you go where you're not safe, they call it a slum," Augusta resident Ada Henderson says.

But some people like the idea of labeling downtown Augusta a slum.

"I think it's a silly controversy. I think if it lets our city money, then go for it. We all know it's not a slum, so what's the bothe?" Augusta resident Rachel Whitaker says.

According to the Merriam-Webster definition, the word slum means an area of a city where poor people live and the buildings are in bad condition. To some people, the definition doesn't fit downtown Augusta.

"It is definitely not a slum," Whitaker says.

"No it's not, because we are from all walks of life. Some of the people here got plenty of money and there are some that we are just barely making it," Henderson says.

"Negative. Looks great to me. It looks like we are having a good time and everything is going well," Cunningham says.

So this weekend, people attending the Arts in the Heart Festival aren't going to worry about terminology, instead, they will spend their time eating, dancing and shopping.

"It's very exciting. We wanted to bring the kids out and just wanted to come out in fellowship with everybody," Whitaker says.

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