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July 30, 2014

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From left, Joe Miller, Jill Huffman, Tyler Deal and Janie Johnson take part in the Watercolor Society of North Carolina awards ceremony Sept. 7 at the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock. JEFF EASON PHOTO

Originally published: 2013-09-12 08:32:47
Last modified: 2013-09-12 08:33:31

Artists award grants to teachers

At a time when funding for the arts in public schools is diminishing, it is always good to hear about those in the community who are helping to support arts teachers.

The Watercolor Society of North Carolina, Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff and Patty and Welborn Alexander all contributed to provide grants for the four art teachers serving the eight elementary and middle schools in Watauga County.

At a special ceremony during the annual meeting of the Watercolor Society of North Carolina Sept. 7 in Blowing Rock, $1,000 grants were given to the four teachers to help them with classroom materials and other expenses during the 2013-2014 school year.

The grant checks were given to teachers Tyler Deal (Cove Creek and Green Valley schools), Rae Filsinger (Parkway and Mabel schools), Jill Huffman (Blowing Rock and Valle Crucis schools) and Chad Safferstone (Hardin Park and Bethel schools).

Deal and Huffman were on hand to accept their awards, while Marshall Ashcraft, public information director for Watauga County Schools, accepted on behalf of Filsinger and Safferstone, who were out of town.

Additionally, Deal received a WSNC teacher scholarship to attend a week-long workshop. The scholarship covered her travel expenses, substitute teacher pay, workshop fees and materials.

The annual WSNC teacher scholarship is to be renamed the Cheap Joe’s Arts in Education Award, in honor of Cheap Joe’s owner Joe Miller’s long-standing contributions to the arts and education.

“We are so grateful to have Joe in our community,” said Russell Yerkes, president of the WSNC. “The implementation of the Cheap Joe’s Arts in Education Award is going to help teachers all across the state. Next year, we hope to have eight schools in Wilson County benefit from it.”

 “There is an old saying that he who tooteth not his own horn is in danger of having his horn untooteth,” Miller said. “Since starting the 501-c nonprofit organization Brushes for Vincent, we’ve created numerous art programs for children in hospitals all over the state. We supply all of the materials for this program that has proven to be very beneficial for children who are dealing with the stresses of a hospital stay.”

The WSNC’s annual meeting and awards ceremony coincided with its 68th annual juried watercolor exhibition at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum.

For more information and stories, see The Blowing Rocket.

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