ARTS COUNCIL MIXES BUSINESS WITH PLEASURE
KEY WEST The Florida Keys Council of the Arts held their Annual Membership Meeting, May 1, at the Marathon Yacht Club. The Annual Meeting of members is required in the bylaws of the Council, and this year’s business was mixed with pleasure as the ECMC Jazz Band entertained the more than 70 people that showed to express their support of the Arts. A delicious buffet was served by the Club, with Conch Fritters and other delicacies. Arts Council board members, Chris Sandifer, C.J. Groth, Alison Schaeffler-Murphy, Roger Westerlund, Dean Walters, Gayle Hewlett, Lois Giffen, Bill Shaw, Marcia Somersall, Pat Unferth, and Shirley Freeman, as Director Emeritus, were present.
The meeting began with Cris Sandifer, Board Chair of the Arts Council, introducing guest dignitary Commissioner Sylvia Murphy. Commissioner Murphy was gracious, and complimented the citizens of Monroe County for their continued support of arts and culture. Sandifer then introduced new board members Dean Walters, director of FKCC Keys Chorale, and Gayle Hewlett. Last, but not least, Sandifer introduced the new Executive Director of the Arts Council, Elizabeth Young. Young gave her first “State of the Arts” speech, a lively report on the activities and accomplishments of the Arts Council. One of the best ovations of the evening was to recognize the efforts of FKCA’s Business Manager, Andrea Comstock, for her perseverance and hard work in keeping the Arts Council office open and functioning, while acting as interim director for the Council during a year of extreme challenge and change.
Arts Grantees Marianne Motches, visual artist, and Tina Belotti, Educational Coalition of Monroe County, expressed their thanks for the efforts of the Council, and how the grants had so greatly affected their creative efforts. Plein air painter, Morna Strengholdt, an award-winning Key Largo artist, created a beautiful painting at the Yacht Club expressly for the Arts Council to auction off in the evening. Dean Walters auctioned it, and longtime Arts Council member, Dennis Howley, was the winning bidder.
The Arts Council extends their grateful thanks to all who participated in the preparation, and production of this wonderful evening!