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Former drama teachers and friend to local political activist remember his love for the arts



AUGUSTA, Ga. – People remember Joseph Joey Traina as a political fighter in the C.S.R.A.

“Joey was such an un-selfish, passionate , loving, free spirited, high spirited human being” said Travis Wright, a local spoken word poet.

But there was another side of joey- a more artistic side that some didn’t know about.

“Drama was his thing, he loved theatre and he was so talented,” said Betty Walpert, a highschool drama teacher at Davidson Fine Arts.

“Joey” died earlier on Friday morning after battling covid-19. He kept friends and family updated with his condition via facebook and his last post showed he was heading towards recovery.

Joey attended davidson fine arts during his early school years and that’s when others noticed his passion.

“Any project we had in class he just threw himself into it he committed completely with every character, I mean he was a dream student for us back here in the drama program,” said Walpert.

“He was one of those students that even 20 years later you say his name and it rings a bell,” said Heather Davidson, middle school drama teacher with Davidson Fine Arts.

Many of the skills learned at Davidson, helped him take on roles like supervisor of the Stacey Abrams for governor campaign, campaign manager for Nessmith for governor and stomping as a field organizer for Bernie Sanders.

“He said if it weren’t for my drama training I wouldn’t be as outward and as outgoing as I need to be and he was always very thankful for that when we would run into each other,” said Davidson.

And through his activism — he bridged the gap between the arts and politics in Augusta.

“The points of interest talk show on comcast was a show all about politics, it was him and another guy called Demetrius Minor and he carved out a small segment of his weekly show for me to be able to come on their and talk about arts and it was called the artist spotlight,” said Wright.

Traina touched lives throughout the C.S.R.A on stage and with his political activism, leaving a legacy of passionate beliefs with every person he knew.

“For me personally and this is a message that I would like to send out because I’m grateful and I’m thankful for the oppurtunity that joey presented to me offering me that platform and I don’t know if I ever took the time to really say thanks,” said Wright.