Recognizing the importance of continuing strong leadership, Governor Robert Bentley reappointed four members of the Alabama State Council on the Arts for six-year terms. New terms will be effective January 1, 2012, and continue through the end of 2017. The reappointed members of the Council are Jim Harrison III of Tuscaloosa, Elaine Johnson of Dothan, Rebecca T. B. Quinn of Huntsville, and State Tourism Director Lee Sentell of Montgomery. The Council consists of fifteen members from various parts of the state and appointments are made on a staggered cycle so that appointments are made every two years.
In addition to the reappointments, the Council elected new officers. Jim Harrison III of Tuscaloosa was elected Chair, Vaughan I. Morrissette of Mobile, Vice-Chair, and Lisa Blach Weil of Montgomery, Secretary of the Council. All of the officers serve a two-year term.
Commenting on the recent appointments, Al Head, Executive Director of the Council said, “These reappointments solidify the continuity of strong leadership on the Council for the next six years. All of these individuals have contributed significantly to the Council and the arts and artists in Alabama.”
Governor Bentley is expected to make one additional appointment to the Council in the near future.
Newly elected Chairman of the Council Jim Harrison is the owner and director of Harrison Galleries specializing in nineteenth and early twentieth century American and European paintings and vintage and contemporary photography. Harrison is quite active in the community and currently sits on the boards of the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society, C.H.O.M., the Black Warrior Council of the Boy Scouts, the Chamber of Commerce, the DCH Foundation, and the Community Foundation of West Alabama. He serves as Chairman of the Kentuck Museum Association Board and the KidOne Transport Advisory Board of West Alabama. Harrison has served as Vice-Chair of the Council and Chair of the Council’s Grants Review Committee.
Vaughan Morrissette, Vice-Chair of the Council, has a long history of effective community and philanthropic service. She has spearheaded major volunteer and fundraising efforts in Mobile and at the national level for nearly forty years. Morrissette is the former Board Chairman of the Mobile Museum of Art and the former Board Chairman of the Alabama School of Math and Science Foundation. She also serves on the Board of the Alabama Archives and History Foundation, Citizenship Trust and American Village, and Spring Hill College. For the past two years Morrissette has served on the Council’s Grants Review Committee.
Lisa Blach Weil, Secretary of the Council, is an active volunteer in Montgomery. At present, Weil serves on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the American Red Cross of Central Alabama, and Temple Beth Or, where she serves as Sisterhood President. She serves as chair of Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s Armchair Auction, and she founded Clara’s Circle, a new program implemented by our Central Alabama chapter of the American Red Cross. Weil has served on the Council's Grants Review Committee for the past two years.
In addition to being reappointed to the Council for another six-year term, Rebecca Quinn was elected to the board of the National Association of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) where she will continue her arts advocacy work. Already a strong supporter of the arts in Alabama, she will expand her work to a national stage.
Quinn has served on the boards of The Arts Council of Huntsville, Boys & Girls Club, Care Assurance for the Aged, Historic Huntsville Foundation, the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, Leadership Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce, serving as its chair in 2003. Quinn received their Distinguished Leadership Award for 2004. Her other community activities include committees of the Huntsville Land Trust, The Huntsville Museum of Art Docents, and The Early Works Museum. Quinn has been on the Council for over twelve years, serving on the Council’s Grants Review Committee and chairing the Long Range Planning Committee. She is a past Chair of the Council, serving in that position from January 1, 2009-December 31, 2010.
The Alabama State Council on the Arts is the official state arts agency of Alabama. The staff of the Council, directed by Al Head, administers the grants program and provides financial assistance in arts education and programming. The Council receives its support through an annual appropriation from the Alabama Legislature and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
For more information on the Alabama State Council on the Arts contact Barbara Reed at 334-242-4076, ext. 223, or visit http://www.arts.state.al.us/news/index-news.html.