Taking home Tarleton Texan honor: Bosque Arts Center recognized as exemplary institution at College of Liberal & Fine Arts inaugural Leadership Council Event
STEPHENVILLE – By initiating annual Community Awards, the Tarleton State University College of Liberal and Fine Arts wants to connect more with their communities. The awards recognize those “who represents that area of leadership and service we want to identify with,” and “that offer something significant to the quality of life.” The college wants to be a part of these organizations and individuals, which enhance the quality of life in their communities.
“With these inaugural awards it was important to recognize organizations and individuals that exemplify what we aspire our students to see,” COLFA Dean Eric Morrow said during the welcome reception of the 2022 Annual Leadership Council meeting in Stephenville Friday.
The college recognized Bosque County’s Bosque Arts Center as one of those exemplary institutions, receiving the inaugural Tarleton College of Liberal and Fine Arts Creative Arts Award. During the awards ceremony, Morrow explained that the Bosque Arts Center has been an outstanding example of a community arts organization supplying art appreciation for over 40 years in a relatively small rural community.
“For 40 years they have this strong presence to provide the arts for the community and the region,” Morrow said. Morrow who is a Clifton High School graduate and TSU Executive Director of Development Janice Horak recently toured the building and they were “just amazed; because this is an example of an organization that sustained itself, and offers so much to the community, and has been doing it for so long.
“It serves as an example in our region of what potential we have with any organization, and the commitment of people to sustain it and t make it work."
He went on to say the BAC is a community arts educational center, dedicated to the promotion and support of the preforming and visual arts in Bosque and surrounding counties, housed in the historic former Lutheran College building. It attracts tourists, students and art patrons from around the state.
Bosque Arts Center Board President LeAnn Donner and Business Manager Paige Sibila came on stage to receive the beautiful crystal trophy. When accepting the award, Donner stressed that the BAC’s success is largely thanks to the board, staff, volunteers and art patrons that support the organization that was created thanks to Joan Spieler’s vision 40 years ago. Several Cowboy Artists of America like Martin Grelle, Bruce Greene and Tony Eubanks actively support the BAC. Thanks to ticket proceeds, donations, sponsors and grants the organization is able to balance a $400,000 yearly budget.
“I cannot start to explain to you the beauty of the art we have at the BAC,” Donner said, suggesting the audience plan a visit and see it for themselves.
Both Donner and Sibila have ties to Tarleton thanks to children studying there. Also present for the BAC were Art Council representative John Linn, BAC Board President-Elect Linda Pfeiffer, Program Director Deb Phinney, Stephenville Artist Kathy Tate and her husband Johnny. Tate has been closely connected to the BAC since 1995, entering and winning the BAC Art Classic, and also as student and as volunteer.
In his introduction of the BAC, Morrow listed the impressive list of services the BAC offers its community since its inception in 1981: classes in art, dance, yoga, martial arts, pottery, needlework, guitar and piano; workshops by renowned artists; theatrical performances in the attached Tin Building Theater; the building houses the Roland Jones Memorial Gallery with its permanent art collection, with a national juried show; offers a high school art show; concerts in the beautifully restored Frazier Performance Hall on the third floor with its superior acoustics, an annual photography contest, the Texas Troubadour Songwriter competition, the annual Quilt Show, musical concerts and chorale performances. And not to forget the summer camps for kids like Imagination Factory, Sewing Camp, Music Camp and Culinary Camp.
The other four awards were the Public Service Award for Chief Justice John. M. Bailey of the 11th Court of Appeals in Eastland; the Community Service Award for Laura J. Gambino and the Cross Timbers Family Services; the Civic Engagement Award for Anita Rhoades Henslee for public advocacy and strengthening democracy and the Excellence in Scholarship Award for Dr. T. Lindsay Baker.
Morrow also gave some information on the COLFA achievements and developments from the past year, emphasizing the college want to grow and adapt to meet the market place, increase of technology in communication and to broaden engagement with the world. A Public Administration and Visual Arts and Design departments were added last year. The goal is to double in size in the coming years, without giving up their focus for student well-being, engagement and quality of life.
The earliest academies advanced human knowledge through philosophy, critical thinking and debate. Now, over two millennia later, these methods remain at the core of today’s universities and in the curriculum of Tarleton’s College of Liberal and Fine Arts that provides academically challenging education through exemplary teaching, significant research and inspired creativity. They foster creative expression and artistic value through arts, performances, presentations, and activities for the area and beyond. The Tarleton COLFA also includes Communication Studies, Criminal Justice, English and Languages, Fine Arts, History, Geography, and GIS, Government, Legal Studies, and Philosophy, Leadership and Strategic Studies, offering a total of 25 degree options.
Another important goal of the evening was to communicate the COLFA’s departments and career paths and to stimulate networking between community organizations and the college. Morrow expressed the hope that internships and partnerships would grow from this event and as such guide the college forward with ideas and opportunities.
The BAC representatives gladly took the opportunity to talk to college leaders and different department heads like Music, Performing Arts and Communication Studies. It now rests on the BAC Board to find a prominent display for the well-deserved, significant and esthetically beautiful award.
Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS
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