As a young child growing up in 1960's Detroit, Michigan, my family and I saw the benefits of the National Endowment of the Arts/Humanities. As a sibling to ten brothers and six sisters, my father, who only had a third grade education, aspired for his children to achieve a higher education. He knew that exposure to the arts assists in the exploration, education, and appreciation of the world around and beyond us. When moving from Detroit's Eastside, to northwest Detroit in 1963, my father purposely searched for property that would be in walking distance of a public library and local public schools. As a result of the Act signed in 1965, our local library was able to offer numerous art programs and workshops including music, dance, and drama that extended to the public schools. After-school art programs were offered, in addition to field trips to museums, and other cultural events. All of these programs were significant to my family and others in my community who would not have had the funds or even the knowledge/exposure to attend or be a participant of many of the cultural events/programs offered in Detroit.
Years later I made sure that my children and grandson (and many other children in my community) had similar experiences and exposure to the Arts. To this day, my children thank my husband and me for exposing them to the arts throughout their childhood. I tell them it is because my father - their grandfather, John L. Mims wanted so much more for his children, and understood the importance of the Arts in education and preparation for the future. Thank God for the National Foundation for the Arts.