Norb & Sue Miller- Volunteers of the Year
Sue Miller started volunteering in 2008 with her husband Norb. She volunteers twice a month as a cashier for the Art Reach store and serves on the Let’s do Lunch committee, where she helps decide what programs will be featured for the next year. She delivers flyers to advertise the event and helps set up. Sue’s favorite part is, “being part of presenting art to the community. Art is important, and Art Reach makes it available to the community.”
Sue was a med tech and said, “I spent most of my life in the science world, and I wanted to be part of the art world; I love art.” She enjoys playing piano and bridge, or spending time with her grandchildren. She also volunteers at CMU’s Student Activity Center.
Norb Miller is Art Reach’s 2013 Volunteer of the Year, alongside his wife Sue.
Norb began volunteering six years ago, with Sue. While she handles sales at the Art Reach store, Norb helps with maintenance work by cleaning, sweeping and shoveling. He is on the committee for Let’s do Lunch, a monthly event for the community that features local talent.
“Art Reach offers a wide variety of gifts created by very talented people. It shares a large variety of talented craftsmen and artists with the community,” he said.
Norb also enjoys golfing and volunteering with the Red Cross, CMU Student Activity Center and his church.
Velvet Underwood began volunteering with Art Reach in 2012 and dedicated her time to the Picture Program, Make & Takes and the Art Reach store. As part of the Make & Take program, she helped students decorate crafts to take home. She likes working with children, and meeting new and interesting people who come into the Art Reach store. In her free time, she enjoys transforming regular books into art.“I like the mission of Art Reach and the idea of making art more accessible to the community.”
Gratiot County resident Pat Knapp has been a part of Art Reach for 12 years by bringing art history to local schools as a docent for the Picture Program, organizing Day with the Artist and the elementary school calendar program. She enjoys working with the administration and faculty while coordinating the Day with the Artist .
“Some districts don’t have art classes so this gives districts a chance for art,” she said.Outside of volunteering Pat was a middle school teacher for 35 years and now works as a clown at various events.
Linda Colburn began volunteering with Art Reach in 1976. Linda now volunteers with the Art Reach store, which offers a wide array of unique works from Michigan artists. As a store clerk volunteer, she gets the chance to see new art coming in. She enjoys watching “for new and different artists, they all evolve, and always trying new things, I love that part and that’s why I volunteer.” Linda was a nurse for 43 years and would buy pieces of art from each city she traveled to while working.
Kathryn Hoffman volunteered with Day with the Artist at McGuire Elementary in spring 2013. Among other artists, she was able to share her work with local school children by demonstrating various techniques of pottery. “It is just fun, and a little bit liberating and if you can just work with kids they’re great, probably the most enthusiastic to work with,” she said.
Kathryn will be graduating from CMU with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in May. When she’s not in the studio she likes playing softball or bike riding.
Ginger Judge has been with Art Reach since 2009 by volunteering as a store clerk and a member of the Chair Affair committee that works toward transforming and sharing chairs, benches and side tables that are handmade and painted for the community. She was the 2012 Volunteer of the Year. Ginger said Art Reach, “has such a strong impact on the community…and the gallery is a real gift to the community.” Outside of volunteering she likes to cross country ski and interact with the neighborhood or her grandchildren.
Rita Doneth has been volunteering with Art Reach for three and a half years as a store clerk, and a Picture Program docent for two sixth grade classrooms. She worked as a secretary for 20 years and was inspired to become a docent after seeing volunteers come into the schools to teach students art history. She also likes to volunteer with a retirement group outside of Lansing, or spend time with her family.
Barbara Taylor joined Art Reach in 2000, volunteering her time with the Healing Arts Program, Winter Concert Series, Let’s do Lunch, Art Walk and various committees. As a Healing Arts volunteer, she helps bring hands-on art to local care facilities by coordinating volunteers and visiting facilities. “The Healing Arts program is very rewarding, I respect that we’ve grown in the community with many supporters,” she said, “people really believe in Art Reach and that is really satisfying.”
Marcie Otteman has been volunteering with Art Reach for over five years, dedicating much of her time to the auction committee. As a member of the committee, she is responsible for setting up and running the auction that is the biggest fundraiser to support operations at Art Reach. Marcie said volunteering with Art Reach is a “great experience. There are so many great opportunities, through attending events or classes they offer, you can do as little as you want.”Marcie is also the executive director of alumni relations at CMU where she plans events. She enjoys being outdoors gardening, running and going for bike rides.
George Rouman joined Art Reach in 2007 and has volunteered for many groups throughout the years, such as the Healing Arts program, events committee and the capital campaign. Currently he is a chair person for the Festival of Banners, and is busy raising money for the festival, contacting sponsors and recruiting school children and community members to paint the banners that hang across Isabella County. George said he “likes bringing art to the community especially to those that don’t think they’re artists [and] then they do a good job on a banner, I get satisfaction from that.”
George is an avid reader, likes jazz music and enjoys watching CMU basketball and football.
Carol Brannan started volunteering with Art Reach 11 years ago. She has dedicated her time to many programs, particularly as a secretary for the executive board. Carol said she likes volunteering “because we look at the arts broadly, we are not just art, we are music, literature and that’s important to me and why I was drawn to Art Reach.”In her free time she enjoys reading and traveling.
Since 1987, John Jensen has given much of his time to Art Reach through his involvement in several programs. He is currently a member of the board, worked on Art Walk Central and ran three capital campaigns. John has been part of the Festival of Banners since the beginning by finding major sponsors and members that would help stabilize funding.Prior to retirement, he was an architect and worked on the addition for Art Reach; when it was on University Street. “My profession was involved in the arts and naturally fell into it,” he said. John is also part of the Rotary club and scholarship committee for the Community Foundation.
Linda Louisell has been with Art Reach for 14 years and was on the board for nine. She is an artist, who has photography in the Art Reach gift shop and has painted for the Festival of Banners. Linda also volunteers as a Picture Program docent for Vowles Elementary. She taught music at Vowles for 27 years. Volunteering as a docent gave her the chance to see new and old faces and relatives. Linda said, “It is cool to see how Art Reach has grown, [it] really enhances quality of life. Come volunteer here; it’s fun and low pressure.”Linda and her family have a bluegrass band where she plays bass guitar. She also plays clarinet for the Central Michigan Concert Band and tenor sax and keyboards when her family plays rockabilly.
Julie Wells is an artist whose lithography work was showcased in January in the Art Reach gallery. She has been working with Art Reach for two years volunteering with the Chair Affair, Festival of Banners and teaching art classes to children. As an artist she works with various mediums but enjoys creating shadow boxes or painting, especially birds. Julie has educational lithography cards available in the Art Reach store. Art Reach “is more than just a place, it’s a way to educate the community,” she said, “when they appreciate art, they appreciate other things and the environment.”
Tiffani Lewis is an event-planning intern at Art Reach. She is a CMU student majoring in commercial recreation and event management, with a minor in hospitality management, graduating in August. Tiffani is planning this year’s Art Walk Central where she produced daily children’s activities, found judges, promoted a call for artists to bring in new talent and so much more. As an intern she was able to be included in the process of confirming sponsors and large donors and saw how the nonprofit field works. Tiffani said Art Reach is a “great opportunity for young and adult artists. It is a way for those artists to get involved in their community because Art Reach has a lot of connections.”
After graduation she is interested in finding a career in hotel management or sales, or planning large festivals.
Val Wolters started volunteering with Art Reach in 1983 as a committee member of Art Train Depot. Currently Val is a Picture Program docent for Ganiard Elementary, where she also taught first grade for 23 years. She taught origami, wreath and macramé classes at Art Reach where she taught students from preschool to 99 years old. Val enjoys sharing art with others wherever she goes and said, she would “personally like to thank those who continue to offer musical, art and visual art programs for people of all ages.”Outside of Art Reach Val started the Ganiard History Project to educate others on the history of Ganiard Elementary. She has found many connections, including interacting through the art community. The project evolved to offering two scholarships to Mount Pleasant High School students, continuous historical research, a DVD and working on a book.
Tom Endres began volunteering with Art Reach 25 years ago. He was the chief engineer for purchasing the current Art Reach building and a member of the trustee board for over six years. Tom enjoys seeing public art like the banners, Chair Affair and Art Walk. He said, “I just feel better when I a chance to experience art in any form whether viewing a gallery, music form, Let’s Do Lunch or poetry.” Tom enjoys fishing and traveling and finds that he sees art in many different areas of life.“I believe Art Reach is a wonderful resource, whether public art or the Picture Program where children get to see masterpieces,” he said, “There’s so much here, and the community needs to take advantage of it. It’s truly a wonderful asset to have in our community.”
Janet Kline joined Art Reach in 1995 when friends of hers were on the board. Janet volunteered as a docent for the Picture Program at Rosebush Elementary and became the Art Reach Coordinator. She served on the gallery committee where she would help select artists to be showcased in the Art Reach gallery. She was also part of the scholarship committee that gave scholarships to a high school senior and a child to attend Blue Lake.Janet said Art Reach is “a vehicle for the arts, doing it with poetry, Let’s do Lunch, concerts, in total arts, not just what’s hanging on the wall. [There is] music and dance; the community is quite receptive.”
Sarah Bloomfield began volunteering with Art Reach in January as a docent for the Picture Program at Vowles Elementary. She has children of her own and was inspired when they would frequently tell her how much they enjoyed the program. As a docent Sarah brings art history into classrooms. It’s a “well prepared program and very simple to volunteer and I like the Picture Program because it doesn’t take a lot of time but is very rewarding,” she said. In college Sarah studied science and was jealous of her roommate who studied art history, but now the Picture Program “allows me to study art along with the students.”Sarah is a registered nurse and enjoys sewing, reading and floating down the river.
Andrea Hofmeister began volunteering with Art Reach five years ago and has worked on projects such as making banners, Adirondack chairs and chalk art. She is a member of the Let’s do Lunch committee where she helps find talent, arrange the schedule, provide refreshments and set up. Two years ago her participation with the chalk art project landed her a job where she now teaches a class for chalk art techniques and helps organize the 4-day project with the Art Reach staff. Andrea is a musician and painter. She said, “there is nothing like actually working in a field of art to heighten your appreciation for people who are excellent at it. Working at Art Reach allows us access to fine artists and their work.”
Kelli Walton has been volunteering with Art Reach for over two years. She serves on the Art Walk committee by helping plan and organize events, and finds volunteers to staff each event. As a photographer she has donated landscape photos for the Art Walk auction. Kelli likes seeing people view art during their everyday lives. Art Reach “allows people that don’t have access to arts, get art. Some people may have talent but never know it if they never are exposed to it,” she said.Kelli also donates graphic design and photography to Max and Emily’s Summer Concert Series.
Nedra Fisher joined Art Reach in 1981 and dedicated much of her time to the Picture Program. She helps communicate and set up training sessions for docents. Nedra volunteered with the Day with the Artist’s where local school children get the opportunity to see artists demonstrate their work. “Children need art, they need as much as they can get.”She also helped start up the Chair Affair. Once a month Nedra is published in the Morning Sun with an update on what is going on in Art Reach.Outside of volunteering she enjoys reading and playing Sudoku.
Nicole Sanders is the current Art Reach board of director’s president. Her two year term is ending in May, and she will then take the two year position as past president where she will help with the transition of the new president. Nicole began volunteering with Art Reach on the membership committee in 2007, and transitioned into event planning. She was then asked to be a member of the board. “The board is a diverse group, all see the value of art. It is neat to see that perspective and everyone on the board sees Art Reach as an important part of Mount Pleasant area…[some volunteers] started from the beginning and are still involved and that says a lot about the organization,” Nicole said. As president she serves as an advisory figure, attends meetings and makes sure Art Reach has enough resources.Nicole works in marketing and graphic design and has done work in the past for Art Reach. Outside of Art Reach she enjoys spending time with family, she tries to incorporate creativity into regular day to day activities. “Art was my favorite subject, it is very important for my kids and the community to have an active resource to promote all types of art,” Nicole said. She likes to paint, draw and take pictures.
Sarah Dysinger is a CMU student interning with Art Reach. As an event planning intern for her commercial recreation undergrad, she has focused on planning the Festival of Banners. Sarah promotes the event, finds business sponsors and handles registration. In preparation for the festival she painted banners and helped volunteers paint during paint days.
Her favorite memory from interning with Art Reach is taking a day trip to Art Prize in Grand Rapids with the Art Reach staff. “I like everyone I work with; it’s very relaxed. I like seeing all the different gallery shows,” she said.
During her free time she likes to do anything outside, like running. After graduation, she plans to find a career in event management or recreation.
Jeff Hoyle is currently serving as the vice president on the executive board. He is completing his two-year term in May, before taking the presidency. Jeff began volunteering six years ago and was suggested by a colleague at Central Michigan University. He is a marketing professor at CMU, and his Enterprise Selling course will be collaborating with Art Reach to spread awareness of the organization.“Come down and see Art Reach and participate in events, get to know them beyond the store front,” he said, “[when you volunteer] you become part of the community, become part of Mount Pleasant and take more pride in who we are and the skill set in this area and the talent.”
If you are an artist or art instructor and are interested in teaching a class, please contact Education Coordinator Kara Kinsman by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, 989-773-3689.
All that we do would not be possible without our many WONDERFUL volunteers!
Volunteer opportunities ABOUND at Art Reach! Call 989.773.3689 to inquire!
YOU can Volunteer for a Program Committee such as:
Art Walk Central: A community wide art competition held in August
Annual Art Auction: Our largest fund raiser of the year bringing community and artists together in support of the arts!
Chair Affair: Help with logistics of this creative fund raiser that offers hand made and decorated Adirondack chairs for community members to purchase.
Day with the Artist: This committee organizes two events/year highlighting local artists who demonstrate their talent to school children
Festival of Banners: Help facilitate over 300 vinyl banners to be hung in Isabella County from June through October
Gallery Committee: Take part in reviewing exhibit applicants and help facilitate their exhibits
Gift Shop Clerk Volunteer: Whether you have one afternoon a week, a month or all year - consider helping in the Art Reach on Broadway Consignment Shop
Healing Arts: Are you an artist willing to share your talents with residents of area care facilities? If so, then this volunteer opportunity is for you!
Kid's Calendar Art: Be part of the team that coordinates this annual calendar and honors student artists at a reception at Art Reach
Let's Do Lunch: We can use your help lining up these monthly performances
Picture Program Docent: Join over 150 volunteers who travel to local schools each month to give an art history lesson ... right in the classroom!
Scholarship Committee: This committee reviews scholarship applications and selects winners
Wellspring Literary Series: Help with logistics of this poetry series presented in partnership with the English Department at CMU
Winter Concert Series: You can sit on the committee that selects performers for this successfull musical series
© 2015Art Reach of Mid Michigan. All Rights Reserved.
The mission of Art Reach is to promote, stimulate and encourage involvement and appreciation of the arts in mid Michigan.
Art Reach of Mid Michigan strives to provide equal opportunity for individuals to participate in its programs, activities, services and employment.