Thursday, December 1, 2011
Arts council: a dream come true
By SUE WATSON
About two years ago, a small group of Byhalia residents gathered to dream about an arts council.
Last year the council became a reality with Main Street charrettes creating the arts council as one of its projects, according to Faye Woods. The Town of Byhalia has joined in backing this vision.
The council will encourage and support the arts in the area by providing leadership (the council and a board of directors) and a venue to conduct art shows and plays, support the literary arts, and provide space for the council offices. Woods said arts councils mirror a society “by honoring the past and creating our future.”
Woods praised the Byhalia schools for setting the pace in the town for excellence in the creative and performing arts. Cynthia Chitwood is instructor of the gifted arts class at Byhalia Elementary and Middle Schools.
The council will enhance the quality of life and economy in the Byhalia area and Marshall County, Woods said. It will attract tourists, stimulate business and promote local and regional partnerships. It will provide diverse benefits to local youth.
“The overall benefit to the community is that for every dollar spent on the arts, $13 is returned to the community,” Woods said.
Some individuals who brought their work to the first Byhalia Arts Council event were Jeanie Umstot, Nicole Sorenson, Jessica Hughes, Windy Markle, Rita St. John Swanter, Anthony Moore, and students from Byhalia Elementary and Middle School – Thomas Cordarion, Dalton Culver, Cole Edwards, Jacob LaHatte, Hailey Edwards and Amber Gray.
Local musician and singer Merideth Koch contributed to the entertainment, as well as Davide House, and Tim Alexander and trombonist Glen Faulkner.
Woods thanks the community for supporting the arts.
“It’s a dream come true, personally, for me,” she said.
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