published: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Smithsonian Institution exhibit brought substantial benefits
The Highlands Art League's Museum of the Arts (MOTA), located in Downtown Sebring, hosted a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibit Dec. 8, 2012 - Jan. 19, 2013 that was free for the public to attend and more than 1,000 people experienced while it was in town. The Florida Humanities Council, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institute, is sponsoring the six-city Florida tour of Journey Stories - an exhibit that uses images, audio and artifacts to illustrate the critical roles that traveling and movement have played in building our diverse American society.
Highlands County has never hosted an exhibition of this stature and esteem before, and hosting the Smithsonian Institution exhibit was a huge boost to art and culture for our area. This exhibition undoubtedly helped advance the Highlands Art League's (HAL) mission, which is to promote the appreciation, study and development of the arts, in their many forms, and to provide various adult and children's programs whereby the Highlands County community will prosper as a center of culture. In addition to the local attendees, people from Jacksonville, Miami, Punta Gorda and Naples, as well as our visitors from places like Indiana, Canada, and Ohio visited MOTA to see the Smithsonian Institution exhibit.
"It is well known that rural communities today face many challenges, such as declining and aging populations, youth retention, limited economic and social opportunities, depleting natural resources, loss of local services, and higher costs of living," as quoted from Canada's Creative City News. "Arts, culture, and heritage are not only amenities to improve quality of life but are a foundation upon which the future of rural and small communities rests. Arts and creative activities can profoundly affect the ability of a town not only to survive over time, but to thrive."
We applaud the Highlands County School Board for sending middle school students from around the county to MOTA to see the exhibit, and hope everyone in Highlands County took advantage of this amazing opportunity. MOTA will be hosting more art exhibits later in 2013, and HAL works diligently year-round to bring art and culture to our county. Thank you to the HAL Board of Directors and staff, as well as the MOTA volunteers for making this significant contribution to our residents and visitors.
Debbie Kendrick and Don Elwell
Highlands Art League Co-Chairs
About Highlands Art League & MOTA
The Highlands Art League's 'Village Where Art Lives' is located at the Allen Altvater Cultural Center in Downtown Sebring on the shores of Lake Jackson. The Village consists of four buildings: The Yellow House Gallery & Gift Shop features studio artists and members' gallery; the Visual Arts Center houses art classes for children and adults; MOTA features curated exhibits, art competitions and receptions; and the Clovelly House that is undergoing final renovations and will house visiting artists, as well as art business classes for high school students. For more information about Highlands Art League, visit www.HighlandsArtLeague.org.
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