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Arts Advocacy Collaborative honors community members

LIMA — Three Lima community members were honored for their commitment to the arts Monday by the Arts Advocacy Collaborative of West Central.

The Arts Creator of the Year was awarded to Patricia Meeks, Director of Bands of Shawnee Local Schools. Superior Credit Union and President/CEO Phil Buell were honored as the Arts Philanthropist of the Year and Lima Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Elizabeth Brown-Ellis took home the award for Arts Advocate of the Year.
The awards are intended to highlight the economic impact, employment, creativity and innovation in the local art community, said Sally Windle, collaborative committee member.This is just highlighting people, structures and businesses that do a lot for the arts in our community, Windle said.The committee judges any and all nominations submitted by the community. Windle said there have been as many as 15 nominations in each category.
Because of the interest and activity, Windle said she could see the categories expanding in the future.The people that they chose have done a lot in the community or are part of a really thriving community, she explained.
Its not always about drawing or painting or singing, but the commerce thats related to all of that is important. We like to make sure that people, even though they dont like to be called out or be highlighted, are appreciated and known for what they are doing.Brown-Ellis is part of the committee but admitted to not being as involved this year. At the press conference, it was revealed why.
The key to advocacy, she said, is to go about it quietly.Its just about promoting the arts, constantly keeping the arts in front of the public officials, in front of the community and really showcasing all of the great things that are happening, she explained.The arts are so vibrant in Lima, and I think sometimes we dont acknowledge that. I think sometimes Lima can be very down on itself, and I think for us to take a minute to sit back and celebrate Lima, in general, but also celebrate the hard work that people are doing here and the things that make this community a little more livable and makes it more personal and individual, its just really important.
The Arts Advocacy Collaborative of West Central Ohio announced its winners, from left, Patricia Meeks, Director of Bands of Shawnee Local Schools, Superior Credit Union and Elizabeth Brown-Ellis, Executive Director of Lima Symphony Orchestra.

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