The Winterville Center

Community and Culture in Winterville, Georgia


The Benefits of Community

Are you in a community? What does that community stand for or enjoy doing? Are you looking for more friends and for personal connection?

There have been numerous studies on the benefits of participating in a community. Whether you want more motivation to get in shape, develop a hobby, or just have fun, communities can have these benefits and more. Here are some reasons you should consider joining a community.


Most communities have a mission. It could be a mission to help those in need or to develop the local community, or even just to have fun. Communities can be based in a locality or all over the world through social media, or multiple physical locations.


Having a community of people with like-minded interests can provide not only support for that area of interest but also in general. Communities provide networking, friendships, and connection between people.

Communities that allow volunteers and provide community service can provide valuable services to the public, but members who participate in volunteering may have lower rates of mortality and live longer lives.


Education may not be an integral part of all communities, but it is often an important part of the mission and action of many communities. Organizations and local groups can educate each other and the public on important issues, hobbies, and life skills.

If you take a class, you can learn a new skill and meet people with similar interests. Some colleges and universities have free or reduced-cost classes for adults and seniors. Harvard Medical School has suggested that learning new skills can slow mental aging and improve memory in adults.


If a community has a mission, such as to promote fitness, help others, or tackle a local project, the community can motivate individuals to improve themselves or those around them. Communities may help you get fit, lose weight, learn a hobby, learn a new skill, or volunteer throughout the entire process. The Harvard Business Review believes that creating a network of support may help you have more motivation to reach your goals.


Participating in a community can be fun! Communities can include fun as a component of their activities, the connection you develop with others can be enjoyable, and some communities are developed simply to encourage having fun. Whether you are playing a sport you love, creating art, learning to sew,

Ways to Get Involved in a Community

Do you want to find a community that will support and motivate you, or just have fun? There are numerous ways you can get involved and meet new people. Some of these include local and civic organizations, community centers, worship centers, religious organizations, and charities. You can also use a website like to find new communities of people with similar interests.

If you are looking for a community in the Winterville and Athens, Georgia area, you may want to check out the classes we offer at the Winterville Center, or just come by on a Tuesday morning for our open coffeehouse.

The Benefits of Community

Free Fitness Classes Through SilverSneakers



If you are over 65 and have a Medicare Advantage plan, you may be eligible for SilverSneakers and take fitness classes at a location near you.

What is SilverSneakers?

SilverSneakers is a nationwide program that funds free fitness classes for seniors over 65. All SilverSneakers classes emphasize gentle fitness and range of movement, and many classes can be performed both standing or seated. These classes are offered at gyms, pools, and other participating locations. Some of the classes offered by SilverSneakers include Classic, which is a basic fitness class; Stretch; Yoga; and CardioFit.

There are also FLEX classes, which can incorporate methods from a wide range of fitness disciplines such as dance, martial arts, and balance training. The Winterville Center is one location that offers FLEX classes, including Stretch and Gentle Nia. Nia is an integrative fitness style that can include dance, martial arts, and other styles of fitness. If you are curious about Nia, this video describes one method of Gentle Nia at the 3:18 minute mark.

How Does Silver Sneakers Work?

Since Medicare Advantage is handled through many different insurance companies, there can be differences in how SilverSneakers is offered to those who have Medicare Advantage plans. Some companies will automatically send you a SilverSneakers card or member number once you have signed up with Medicare Advantage and SilverSneakers has been listed as a benefit. During reenrollment, you may be able to choose a plan that offers SilverSneakers as a benefit.

While not everyone is eligible for the SilverSneakers program through Medicare, it is available to many people who may be unaware of this benefit. SilverSneakers is available through some Medicare Advantage programs, often called Medicare Part C.

What Benefits Can I Expect from SilverSneakers Classes?

Most SilverSneakers classes are designed for seniors and may help improve strength, coordination, balance, flexibility, and range of motion. Some classes, such as Yoga, are designed specifically to improve flexibility and strength, but yoga can have many other benefits, including improved mindfulness, reduced stress, and injury prevention.

Is SilverSneakers Is Available to Me?

There are several ways to find out if you are eligible for the SilverSneakers program. You can contact your Medicare Advantage by phone and ask if SilverSneakers is a benefit available to you. You can also visit the SilverSneakers website and click the “Check Eligibility” button on the top right. There is also a tool on the SilverSneakers website that lists their participating health plans.

Check out our calendar of classes and find a SilverSneakers class that's right for you!

Free Fitness Classes for Seniors Through SilverSneakers





June Announcements

June News at the Winterville Center

No Zumba June 12th and June 19th


There will be no Zumba class on Wednesday, June 12th and Wednesday, June 19th.


No Chess Tournament June 14th


Just a reminder that there will be no chess tournaments in June and July!


We hope to see you in August!


Winterville Breeze 5K

You can now sign up for our fall 5k race. Both runners and walkers are welcome. Bring the whole family!

The race starts at the Winterville Center and winds through Winterville. Course maps will be available on our website closer to the race date.

Learn more at


4th of July

We will be closed on Independence Day, July 4th. We hope everyone enjoys a happy and safe holiday!

Since July 4th is the first Thursday of July, we will reschedule our First Thursday Luncheon to Thursday, July 11th at 12 p.m. The speaker will be Bemene Piaro, Project Coordinator from Project FREE.


Explore Art at the Winterville Center

Art Classes in Athens, GA


If you have ever wanted to learn how to draw or paint, the art classes at the Winterville Center can provide you with an art education, whatever your level of experience. 

All of our art classes study basic art composition, techniques, and analysis. 

Oil Painting

Oil Painting meets on Mondays from 1:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.  In each class, a new technique is taught, so students can adapt to the class at any level. Students also create a color wheel and study the relationships between colors and how to create them through paint mediums. 

Instructor Dortha Jacobson has a Master of Arts degree from Tyler School of Art and has taught both in public schools and through private art classes. You can visit her website at

Visit the Facebook event for Oil Painting.

Acrylic Painting

Acrylic paint is a medium which can replicate the styles of other types of paint, from oil paints to watercolor. This can help artists learn versatile techniques and create unique styles similar to mixed-medium art. 

Instructor Elizabeth Barton has studied multiple mediums, including fiber arts and watercolor, and has written two books about design and working in a series. She has a Ph.D. from Leeds University. Her website is

Visit the Facebook event for Acrylic Painting.


Our summer watercolor classes are focusing on collage-style watercolor pieces. Students will example objects of interest and express them on paper through watercolor in a style that many watercolor artists may have never considered.

Watercolor is Thursday nights from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Susan Gill has had pieces featured in the Athens Human Rights Festival, the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Concord Museum of Art and Science. Her website can be found at

Visit the Facebook event for Watercolor.


Drawing is the latest addition to the Winterville Center’s schedule of art classes. Students of Drawing learn basic drawing technique, line art techniques, the differences between drawing mediums, and composition. Drawing techniques can provide additional support to the study of another art form or can be enjoyable to study on its own.

Mary Ann Cox taught art in public schools for 30 years, and also teaches private lessons. She teaches acrylic painting at the Winterville Center on Wednesdays from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Her website is

Visit the Facebook event for Drawing.

Quarterly Art Show

The Winterville Center also hosts a quarterly art show that is coordinated by the Winterville Arts Council. Some art shows have a specific theme. You can find out more on the Winterville Arts Council Facebook page.


Participate in an Art Class

If you would like to sign up for an art class at the Winterville Center, you can call or come by our office Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m if you are looking for art classes in the Athens, GA and surrounding areas.

Most of our art classes also allow drop-ins, but you may want to check the schedule on our website at for supplies, as they are usually only provided during the first class of each session. If you are attending a class in the evening for the first time, please note that we can only take cash or check. You can purchase a punch card over the phone during our office hours and we can have it ready for you when you attend the class.

Follow our Facebook page for class news, event updates, and more at

More Shine than Rain at the Winterville Marigold Festival

2019 Winterville Marigold Festival Parade Float


We were thankful that the rain held off most of the day Saturday, May 11th for the Winterville Marigold Festival!


We participated in the parade as the Winterville Center and really enjoyed seeing all the smiling faces lining the parade route. We didn’t win any prizes, though we admired some of the amazing floats of the winners.


Our booth was located in Pittard Park, and we handed out 250 packets with class schedules, brochures, and some other goodies. I believe all of us purchased some items from the lovely vendors around the festival. We also enjoyed listening to the music coming from the main stage.

Some of the new classes and events we were able to announce at the festival included drawing, aikido, acrylic panting, and kids summer day camp July 22nd to the 26th.


The Winterville Center held a drawing for punch cards to take some of our classes. Greg Morrissey won our $80 punch card, Jennifer Dixon won the $60 punch card, Cindy Phelps won the $40 punch card, and Esther Harris won the $30 punch card.

The turnout for the festival was quite good considering the weather forecast had called for rain all day up until Saturday. The rain held off until late afternoon, but it’s unfortunate that the evening performances had to be canceled.


How Was the 2019 Marigold Festival?

Did you attend the Marigold Festival this year? Share your experience with us in the comments!

Winterville Center Marigold Festival Vendor Booth


Introducing Our New Website Design!

As you may have noticed, we have a new website redesign!

The intention of this design was to make the most searched information easier to find while updating our style and mobile website.

Here are some of the new features of our website:

Calendar Feature

The calendar can now be found both on our main page and on the Classes page. The calendar on the main page is listed in schedule format, and the calendar on the Classes page is in a monthly format.

On both calendars, you should be able to click on the class name to get more information about that class.

If you use Outlook, Google Calendar, or other calendar software that accepts calendar links, you can add the calendar to your own calendar by clicking the + Google Calendar button on the bottom left of the calendar.

Camp Page

We have added a camp page that describes our one-week summer Kidz Kamp, which will be July 22nd to the 26th. You can visit that page for more information about the camp and any camp updates.

This page will disappear after the camp, but you may see it return next year.

Mobile Design

Our mobile design has been customized for ease of use. Features have been streamlined to make navigating the website on your phone, tablet, or mobile device simpler.

The mobile site does vertically align all content, so pages may be a little longer on devices with smaller screens.


We have endeavored to make our blog a bit more easier to read. Blog posts are updated weekly with updates, new classes, general center information, Winterville news, and informative posts about fitness, dance, arts, and more.

We post our blog updates on our Facebook page, so for blog updates, follow us on Facebook.


New Classes in May: Acrylic Painting and Aikido

Aikido in Athens GA | Acrylic Painting in Athens GA


Acrylic Painting


Every Wednesday afternoon from 1:30 p.m to 3:00 p.m.


This painting class will focus on working with acrylics to create luminous and lively works of art that reflect not only the subject of the painting but how you feel about it.  Don't just pain an apple, paint how mouthwatering and crunchy it is! Don't just pain a landscape, pain how dreamy and so it makes you feel when you look at it.

This class is for all levels.  If you are a beginner, Elizabeth will help you get started with a simple project.  For more experienced artists, discussions of improvement in composition, working from inspirations, creating dynamic effects.

Supply List:

For your first visit, bring whatever paint and brushes you already have.

If you have nothing, then buy (online or at a local hobby shop, e.g. Michael's or Hobby Lobby): Golden Acrylic paint:  white, red, blue, yellow, green.

A set of cheap brushes, medium to large.

A jar of white gesso paint for preparing your surface.

Paper towels or rags, and a container for water.

We can paint on any heavy paper - prepare ahead of time with gesso - a light coat or two will be sufficient. Or any card, or cardboard or panel.  Always prepare with gesso so that the surface is ready for the paint.

For questions,  email if you have any questions.


Instructor:  Elizabeth Barton is a well-known artist both in the Athens community and around the nation.  Originally most of her work was with fiber, however, for the last ten years she has expanded into painting - water media...both watercolor and acrylic paints.  She has published two art books, focusing on design and on working in a series. Her works have been displayed nationally and internationally. Elizabeth is an experienced teacher who is known for her humor and her kindness and understanding. She will work with you one-on-one to develop your artistic abilities in whatever way you desire!

Her website is


Pre-registration required.


Every Wednesday afternoon from 2:00 p.m to 3:00 p.m.AIKIDO "The Way of Harmony"


Do you want to get fit, feel more coordinated, increase your stamina, and have fun too? Aikido gives you a moderately intense workout that emphasizes body mechanics, physical awareness and balance.


The basic Aikido curriculum focuses on the development of core strength (both physical and mental). The techniques are practiced alone and with a partner. This makes aikido a vry sociable art form.


Aikido, "the non-fighting” martial art, makes all attacks fail without the use of violence —no kicking, no punching, no fighting.

are safe for seniors. Slow and gentle moves.


Aikido: a metaphor for positive outcomes in all areas of life.


Instructor: John Smartt retired to Athens a few years ago having run an aikido school in California for many years. His initial training was in Japan. He has taught a few classes for OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute), and has lead a couple of small classes in his home dojo.

Free Parking

All participants should register by calling 706-742-0825. Mon -Thu, 9-4 pm, but walk-ins welcome.


Need to Talk to Us or Get Updates?

Need to Talk to the Winterville Center?


Have a question, comment, or suggestion? Did you know there are many ways to contact us at the Winterville Center?

Ways to Contact the Winterville Center

You are welcome to call us at 706-742-0823, or come by any time during our office hours, which are Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There should be someone in our office during those hours. We'd be glad to answer questions or just give you a tour of the facility.

There are a number of other ways to contact us, too. You can use the contact form on our website, and we will call or email you back.

Or you can contact us using the “Send Message” button on our Facebook page.

Share with Us Your Comments and Suggestions

If you wish to suggest a class or workshop, any of these contact methods would work well. We love your comments and suggestions and work hard to bring you classes that you request.

To inquire about teaching at the Winterville Center, please call us at 706-742-0823, or come by so we can discuss with you our requirements and policies. We currently are looking for more dance class instructors, such as line dancing or ballroom dance.

One other way you can share your opinions with us is by taking our class poll.

Follow Us on Social Media

We have multiple ways you can get regular news, updates, and emergency information.

Follow us on Facebook for class events, updates, general news, and blog updates.

Or you can follow us on Instagram for photos and shared Winterville events.

Emergency information for the city of Winterville, such as weather closings, shelter availability, and other important information will be posted on the City of Winterville website or the City of Winterville Facebook page.

Rent our Community Room and Kitchen

The Winterville Center also has rental space on available Fridays and Saturdays. If you are looking for a place to host your next anniversary, birthday party, or family gathering, consider the Winterville Center. We have a 64-seat large room for banquets and parties, along with a kitchen with full amenities.


Watch our video tour for an introduction to the Center and rental amenities:


Winterville News for Week of April 22nd

Earth Day News from the Winterville Center


Happy Earth Day!


I hope everyone had a lovely Easter holiday weekend!


Winterville Events


Tonight, Monday, April 22nd, is a Town Hall Meeting with the Mayor! Come and discuss a proposed farmer’s market in Winterville. The Town Hall will meet at 6 p.m. at the Depot.


On Friday, April 26th, Winterville will celebrate the Firefly Trail Mural at the Front Porch Bookstore with a reception at 12:30 pm at the Front Porch Bookstore. The mural was designed and painted by students from Winterville Elementary.


Center News

The Winterville Center has announced two new classes this week, both starting on Wednesday, May 15th.

Aikido is a gentle martial art taught by John Smartt that will be taught from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. starting May 15th in room 102.

Also on that day, Elizabeth Barton will teach Acrylic Painting from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in room 103. Seats are limited to 10, so pre-registration is required. Call us at 706-742-0823 to reserve your spot!

We still need a few more volunteers for our booth at the Marigold Festival on May 11th. You are welcome to volunteer for an hour or more. Call us at 706-742-0823 if you are interested in volunteering.


The Benefits of Gentle Exercise

Can light to moderate exercise, when performed regularly, have long-lasting benefits to your health?

According to new studies, moderate exercise can lower your mortality rate and boost your heart health. Moderate exercise may also improve insulin sensitivity in diabetes patients even more than more vigorous exercise, according to an article in Time magazine titled, “You Asked: Is Intense Exercise Better for Your Health?



You may have heard that walking 10,000 steps can benefit your health. In another article, Time reports that while higher steps can mean even better health, just walking 5,000 steps can improve health for anyone who is sedentary or who works a desk job. Just getting up to walk a bit every hour and taking a short walk sometime during the day can mean huge benefits to your health.



If you enjoy dance or martial arts, you might want to consider trying Nia. Nia is an acronym for neuromuscular integrative action, and it is a practice that integrates dance, martial arts, meditative mindfulness, and other practices into a gentle fitness and art practice.


According to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Nia may help improve your circulation, balance, coordination, and range of motion. It may also help you reduce stress through mindfulness and increased oxygen levels.


Yoga and Stretching

Gentle exercise like yoga and stretching can help you develop muscular strength while reducing stress. The American Osteopathic Association suggests yoga can help improve the body’s ability to heal itself through regular practice. This can also aid in flexibility and preventing injury from other activities or from falls.


Gentle Fitness at the Winterville Center

Are you interested in experiencing the benefit of gentle exercise for yourself? Try one of our SilverSneakers classes! Gentle Nia meets on Mondays at 1 p.m. SilverSneakers Stretch meets Wednesdays at 10 a.m., and SilverSneakers Yoga meets Wednesdays at 11 a.m.

The Benefits of Gentle Exercise | The Winterville Center

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The Winterville Centers hosts an annual 5K race in September called the Winterville Breeze. 

Learn more at