Okaloosa Public Arts Donates $12,000 to Okaloosa County Art Teachers

Okaloosa Public Arts Donates $12,000 to Okaloosa County Art Teachers

Okaloosa Public Arts President, Bernadette Sims and Board Member, Anne Johnston, presented the Okaloosa County School District with a $12,000 donation at the May 13, 2019, School Board meeting. The generous donation was divided amongst the 6 Okaloosa County High Schools: Baker, Choctawhatchee, Crestview, Fort Walton Beach, Laurel Hill, and Niceville.

“We are blessed with supporters that help us do the things that we need to do every day,” said Marcus Chamber, Superintendent of Schools. “We are blessed that Okaloosa Public Arts is donating $12,000 to Okaloosa County, $2,000 to each of our high schools. We are very thankful, and what will be able to happen with that money for those schools and the arts, is something that we cannot thank you enough. We appreciate it very much.” 

Anne Johnston, an Okaloosa Public Arts Board Member, stressed to the School Board and audience, that the Okaloosa Public Arts organization is “interested in encouraging art in our public schools. We would not be correct if we did not include children and their growth in the arts in the process. So at this time, we would like to provide financial assistance to our six high schools in the form of $2,000 to each school for art supplies and support, however, they may determine they need it, because knowing that each school is individual and different, their needs may be quite different.”

Bernadette Sims, the founder of the Northwest Florida Ballet Academie and current President of Okaloosa Public Arts, told the School Board and audience that she was “representing the artists of our community and the County students who love art and hope to find a way to develop their talent in a way that can become a career. Perhaps computers, graphic design art, and science can come together for a career for them. Movie and TV special effects experts combined technology and art in an exceptional way.  Consider Star Wars and how it changed special effects. Perhaps we have the next Walt Disney sitting in an art class in Okaloosa County. Imagine that there are many ways that art can have a positive effect on our students and many careers that can be launched combining art and business. We must help students find their way towards this career. We all know how early man drew on their cave walls and kept warm by the new invention of fire.  Ancient Egyptians combined math, engineering, and art to create beautiful pyramids, pottery vessels, jewelry, and furniture. The hieroglyphics on the wall told the stories of the Pharaohs. Leonardo da Vinci created the Mona Lisa and beautiful murals but he also studied the human body and how it worked. He also drew plans for the flying machine as well as created many inventions.” 

Sims continued by thanking the Art Teachers as she called them and their Principal forward to receive their check, “I want to thank all of these great art teachers because they really produce some wonderful art shows. I'm so proud of every one of the students who enter like the Destin Arts Festival and all of the art festivals around.  Their work is phenomenal. These teachers are doing a wonderful job.”

Okaloosa Public Arts

Okaloosa Public Arts is an organization of Okaloosa County artists and other citizens who are committed to providing exceptional and meaningful art in our public spaces through private donations. Visit the Okaloosa Public Arts website for more information.