I attended a private Christian school from kindergarten through the 12th grade. There was no art in my school. My first experience with visual art came in junior college here in Georgia. I met the art professor at my college, she urged me to take some of her art classes, and my life was forever changed. Her name was Barbara Hutto. I went on to earn a scholarship to a university in Florida. I later became an art teacher in public high school and taught for 15 years. I also went on to become an active part of the Houston Arts Alliance, which promoted the arts in all forms to all people throughout the Houston County, Georgia area. Today, I am just working on my own artwork, which serves as therapy and as meditation. I know firsthand that the arts are very powerful. They have the power to transform lives. They have the power to free people. They have the power to help with healing. The arts are for everyone. The arts are for all ages. The arts are for all races. The arts are may be used for emotional healing. The arts are therapeutic. The arts are spiritual. The arts make us think. The arts can test us. The arts can bring us joy. The arts can provide ranges of emotions. I love the arts.
I'm very thankful for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. I'm thankful to JFK for their beginnings. I am also thankful for programs like Exploring the Arts, spearheaded by Tony Bennett. Programs like his get the arts into schools with lagging or nonexistent arts programs. I am an advocate for "learning through the arts" and for the philosophy of getting the arts into STEM. #STEAM