SC Arts Commission 40th Anniversary
Tell Your Story!
Individuals have submitted stories based on their experiences. The Arts Commission has not verified all facts.
Van Wyck, S. C.
The Impact of the Arts
Growing up in the 1950s in a small S.C. textile town, arts opportunities, while not overly-abundant, were very much appreciated. Participation in local productions and visual arts exhibits were greatly encouraged in our schools and communities. (The "up side" to rural life is being able to march in the band, sing in the choir, have a part in a play, and compete in visual arts contests beginning at a very young age!) The early exposure led to an awareness and appreciation of the impact all art forms can have – on all members of a society.
The real importance was "brought home," however, when, as a college freshman, I had the great fortune of receiving instruction by an artist who became an important part of the T.A.P. program (which I believe later became the Arts Commission's Artists in Residency program). The instructor, Bob Doster, taught us tenacity, humility, and the value of creativity while pushing us beyond what we thought were our limits. In observing the affect this had on fellow classmates, I came to fully realize how necessary the enjoyment and creation of any art form is to human existence.
As a result of this, my mission became one of making arts experiences available wherever possible. For many years, my "hobby" was event coordination with an emphasis on the arts. Events always included performances (dramatic and musical), exhibits, and hands-on activities. Eventually, as executive director of an Arts Council, through the assistance of the SCAC, my staff was able to help develop programs to enhance arts education and opportunities in underserved areas, including the one in which I grew up. Witnessing the value these programs have on all students, regardless of age, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, and ability has doubtless been life-changing and rewarding.
Thanks to the SCAC, Bob Doster and countless other artists enter classrooms to share arts instruction and presentations, and leave students with the deeper understanding of the importance of the arts to all of us: whether it is through shared knowledge of technique, appreciation, or the knowledge to apply arts experience to everyday life. While I realize exactly how being able to work under such an accomplished artist affected my own life, the greater impact is the desire that is instilled to share the passion with others.
Submit your story by e-mailing Milly Hough.