The Arts Council of York County held its 36th Annual Arts Celebration on Thursday, June 12, 2014, at the Community Performance Center, 249 E. Main St., Rock Hill, SC. The evening featured artists who were recipients of a small grant during the fiscal year. A jazz trio included Ron Parks, L. H. Dickert, and Tracy Patterson, and a visual arts exhibition featured works by photographer, James P. Karner. Karen Collins highlighted the accomplishments of the Underexposed Film Festival yc in 2013, and Strauss Shiple presented the exciting changes in the 2014 Ag + Art Tour with the addition of Lancaster, Chester, and Fairfield Counties.
Despite budgetary cuts, the arts continue to grow in York County! During the 2013-2014 fiscal year, 160,000 people from 238 cities, 43 states and 10 countries attended arts events that were partially funded by or presented by the Arts Council of York County! The number of cities from which visitors came increased by 85%, and states by 45%. “Encouraged by significant increases in attendance, the Arts Council of York County contracted with Webb Management Company, in partnership with Comporium Communications, to conduct a feasibility study that is testing the concept that York County can support a new, larger performing arts center as a part of on-going cultural and economic development effort,” executive director Debra Heintz said.
President Sandy Johnson welcomed new Board members Sonja Burris, Bobby Houck, Dr. Ann Kirol, Michael Smith, and Joy Widener. Officers for FY 2014-2015 include Vice President Nicki Nash, Secretary Michele Wilson, and Treasurer Suzie Wright. Outgoing Board members Rick Jiran, Dr. Sarah Lynn Hayes and Jeffrey Deason were recognized for their service to the Arts Council.
Kamryn Joy-Fulin Knape of Fort Mill was selected as the recipient of the Long Family Scholarship funded jointly this year by the Women’s Club of Rock Hill Outreach Funds and the Arts Council of York County. This competitive scholarship is awarded to a York County student accepted to the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts. Kamryn is a well-rounded homeschooled student whose talent extends across many arts categories. She studies pottery at the Gettys Art Center, is in her 8th year of piano lessons, and takes art classes locally. Kamryn is also a talented set designer who designed the set for the Palmetto Teen Group production of The Three Musketeers. Outside the arts, she is on the yearbook team for her home school co-op, plays volleyball with the Victory Sports program, mentors a younger art student, and assists the children’s leader in the Founded in Truth children’s program. Kamryn will be studying visual arts during the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts’ Summer Academy.
Marcia Kort Buike of Tega Cay was selected for the Ben Ardrey Volunteer Award, created in 1992 to recognize those individuals who have committed themselves to art and culture. Mrs. Buike exemplifies the spirit of the Ben Ardrey Volunteer Award, as her commitment to the arts and culture within our community is portrayed in every aspect of her life. Buike is a leading arts advocate in the state. She is member of the Arts Council of York County’s Small Grants Committee, and has volunteered at the Arts Council of York County numerous times, working in the office on Friday afternoons, assisting with bookkeeping and administrative tasks when staff members have been on leave or when the office is short staffed. Buike also serves as the coordinator of the 5th District Congressional Art Show.
Largely due to her efforts, the number of entries in the 2014 exhibition increased by 70%. In putting this exhibition together, Buike spends the spring traveling across the 5th District to pick up student artwork from each school. Her countless hours and passion given to the arts community in York County makes Buike especially deserving of the 2014 Ben Ardrey Volunteer Award.
Duke Energy was selected for the Business and the Arts Award, created in 1992 to recognize those businesses whose dedicated partnership with the arts has been demonstrated during the calendar year. Duke Energy is committed to support the communities they serve through volunteer efforts and grant funds to special projects.
Two of Duke Energy’s employees have volunteered countless hours and have advocated for the Arts Council of York County. Rick Jiran, Director of Government & Community Relations has served on the Arts Council’s Board for the past eight years, holding the offices of Vice President, President and Immediate Past President. He has also been a strong advocate for the arts as an economic development and educational tool. Over the course of his board term, he helped secure nearly $20,000 in donations to the Arts Council.
Karen Blankenship, Duke Energy’s Manager of Training & Quality Assurance, and a former Arts Council of York County employee, continues to give back to the arts community. In November 2013, she applied for a Duke Energy Sweat Equity Grant on behalf of the Arts Council. This $1,000 grant covered the cost of supplies for a project that will have lasting and significant value. Blankenship also spearheaded a team of eight volunteers to repaint the Dalton Gallery. With their help, the Arts Council saved about $10,000 over the cost of professional painting.