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Mayor at Work on Second Arts Summit and Arts Council
Actors, musicians and filmmakers joined sculptors, photographers and painters at the town hall ‘Chat n Chew’ styled forum to hear ideas that would better promote Huntington and discuss a possible “certified arts community” designation.
Now, the Mayor helps formulate the focus of the second Arts Summit.
“We have to get the Tri State Arts Council moving”, Williams said, noting that “every time I turn around” he sees activities that could develop into major events.
Randall Reid Smith, commissioner of the WV Division of Culture and History, has agreed to serve on the council, Williams said.
He complimented Margaret Mary Layne, director of the Huntington Museum of Art, whom he called an “angel” for this city.
Referring to conversations with her, Williams beamed, “I come walking away as if I’m in the clouds. She lifts me up that much.” Last year, Ms. Layne delivered an Arts and Economic Prosperity presentation at the Summit.
The Mayor believes Huntington will grow into an arts destination. Although Williams has often expressed his love for the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center, he emphasized that “we have [many] tremendous venues”. For instance, the Jean Carlo Stephenson Auditorium on the second floor of Huntington’s City Hall.
He foresees that “at least five major arts related events could be developed in the next year. Every one of them separate, but interrelated. If we do all these”, he continued, “Huntington will be on the map as an arts destination”.