Emily McCurry and Ashley Rice became the newest at-large members of the Haywood County Arts Council board of directors at the HCAC July annual meeting.

Scott Parmele was inducted as board president.

The council thanked outgoing board president Michael Lodico and board member Frank Queen for their long and dedicated service to the organization. Both individuals will continue to contribute to the growth and success of the HCAC.

Incoming board member, Emily McCurry, is a Haywood County native and WCU graduate employed as a financial advisor with the firm of Edward Jones in Waynesville. She is active in the community through the Chamber of Commerce and multiple boards. She is also well-known as an actress, singer and dancer who is currently performing in her 15th season with the HART Theater.

Ashley Rice has worked 15 years in travel and tourism and is the marketing manager for the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority.  She is responsible for implementing creative campaigns and brand awareness to inspire tourists to visit Haywood County. The board will benefit from Ashley’s experience in HCAC’s efforts to expand its outreach.

Incoming board president, Scott Parmele, moved to the area from the mid-west with his jeweler-artist spouse Deb five years ago. The former businessman quickly established himself in the community as a talented musician who appears with several orchestral groups and small bands throughout the region.  Both he and his wife joined HCAC early after their arrival as a way to support a vibrant arts community in the county and Parmele has served the council in several administrative roles since that time, most recently as vice-president of the board.

Outgoing, long-serving HCAC board member and past-president, Michael Lodico remembers that he joined the Arts Council 1983.

“As a Tuscola teacher at the time, I was involved in developing a visiting writer series that did public readings and in-school residencies,” Lodico said. “Over the years, HCAC has been a pillar in providing resources and support for all kinds of art, artists and audiences in Haywood County.” 

“In my nine years of service as a board member of the Arts Council, what has impressed me is the determination and imagination of the local arts community,” said Frank Queen, also retiring from the board this year. “The Arts Council has been a resource for the many artists who exhibit in the gallery and who perform in the community.”

The Haywood County Arts Council is dedicated to the sponsorship of artistic endeavors in Haywood County. Many residents and visitors know the HCAC through its art gallery on Main Street in Waynesville. 

The gallery provides a venue for member artists as well as special collections to present art work to the public in exhibits that change monthly. 

Less visible is the work done by HCAC to administer both Grassroots and Regional Artist Project grants with the sponsorship of the North Carolina Arts Council.  The HCAC also sponsors and promotes a host of additional artistic presentations and classes throughout the year for adults and children alike. 

HCAC is comprised primarily of volunteers with the support of one full-time and one part-time staff member and is funded entirely from grants and private donations.  It is not necessary to be an artist to volunteer at HCAC. 

Those have a desire to assist an organization of considerable benefit to Haywood County and work among similarly motivated and interesting colleagues, are asked to visit www.haywoodarts.org and join the community effort.

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