Fine Arts Center Opens the Jim & Pat Watts Performing Arts Wing and Announce Awards | Arts & Culture
Camden, SC—October 2, 2012—Board members, donors, community leaders, and friends gathered in the newly constructed Jim & Pat Watts Performing Arts Wing at the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County (FAC) recently to celebrate the dedication and commitment of several key volunteers and leaders at the Center, as well as to dedicate the new wing to Jim & Pat Watts, long-time supporters of the FAC.
The Annual Meeting was led by FAC Board President Karen Eckford. The Annual Meeting offered the opportunity to review the previous year’s accomplishments, to look ahead to the new season, meet new board members and to congratulate the recipients of the FAC awards.
• About the Jim & Pat Watts Performing Arts Wing
Just completed in September, the Jim & Pat Watts Performing Arts Wing was dedicated at this year’s meeting. Mayor Jeffrey Graham was on hand to cut the dedication ribbon. "Jim and Pat have always been so supportive of our efforts here at the Fine Arts Center, especially in the ways that the FAC provides educational initiatives in the community, said Kristin Cobb, FAC Executive Director. “We are so thankful for their visionary gift that will enable the Center to continue its growth and serve even more children and adults with this new Performing Arts Wing.”
The Performing Arts Wing encompasses 3,876 square feet of multi-purpose floor space on two levels adjacent to the mainstage auditorium. The Performing Arts Wing provides the theatre arts educational programs with a facility comparable to the Center’s existing instructional studios, which are currently dedicated to music, dance, pottery and visual arts. It also offers the flexibility to house and support classes, workshops, exhibitions, cabarets, recitals, rehearsals, and performances across all arts disciplines. Further enhancing its value, the Wing provides a community assembly hall available for public and private gatherings including meetings, forums, receptions, lectures, and conferences.
A 10-foot high, 20-foot wide rollup door connects the black box floor to the adjacent auditorium main stage, allowing the two spaces to be mutually supportive as needed, or to be combined into a single 40’X80’ arena for larger gatherings. A duplicate door on the opposite wall opens onto a 20’X30’ covered outdoor performance pavilion, adding further versatility to the Performing Arts Wing. Jim Watts currently serves on the FAC Board.
• About the awards
The Ben Bostick Vision Award recognizes someone who, like Ben Bostick, had the vision to look into the future. It is a special combination of wisdom and practical implementation of the ideal that has insured the long range success of the Fine Arts Center.
The Harriet Phelps Service Award recognizes someone who, like Harriet Phelps, has given diligently of labor and energy to the FAC. It recognizes Harriet Phelps’s determination and sustained efforts and her role as a principal driving force bringing the Fine Arts Center into existence.
President Karen Eckford and Executive Director Kristin Cobb presented The Ben Bostick Vision Award to Connie Williams, a long-time FAC and arts supporter who is heavily involved with the FAC Outreach Committee. She has been instrumental in developing Outreach Programs that have reached hundreds of at-risk children who, without the support of the Committee, would otherwise would not have an opportunity to experience live theatre. These at-risk children attend these performances free of charge and the joy that one see’s on the faces of these children is hard to put into words.
Connie worked in the Kershaw County School District from 1981-84 as a teacher at Elementary and Middle School level. Connie has served as one of nine commissioners for the SC Arts Commission and has been a representative of art events both in and out-of-state while serving as a commissioner.
Eckford and Cobb also presented the Harriet Phelps Service Award. This year’s recipient was Astrid Pederson. Astrid has been a wonderful addition to the FAC team and has brought so much enthusiasm and excitement in to the class schedule. Pederson donates her time and talents as a teacher at the FAC. She teaches one of the most popular classes — knitting. Astrid has taught 13 classes since the winter of 2010 impacting close to 500 students.
The other important award of the evening was The Volunteer of the Year, which was presented to Janice Carter. Carter is a long-time supporter of the FAC and has been volunteering her time in the front office and at various events for many years. She is well-loved and is a dedicated volunteer always willing to help.
During the meeting, the Board of Directors elected new board members: Carolyn Ham, Claude Eichelberger, Connie M. Frith, Beth Ford, Judy Smith, Dionne Hough and Boyd Black. Retiring from the board this year were: Scott Rankin, Joy Claussen Scully, Sheila McKinney, Agnes Slayman, James Davis, Maude Cooper, and Rose Sheheen.
For more information about Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County programs, please call 803-425-7676 extension 300 or visit the FAC website at www.fineartscenter.org. The FAC is located at 810 Lyttleton Street in Camden. Hours are Monday through Wednesday and Friday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Thursday 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
The Fine Arts Center is funded in part by the Frederick S. Upton Foundation and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding provided by the City of Camden, Kershaw County, and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina along with donations from businesses and individuals.
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