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From left, Joe Miller of Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff stands with award winners Jill Huffman and Tyler Deal, along with Janie Johnson of the Watercolor Society of North Carolina. Photo submitted.



Originally published: 2013-09-12 11:32:00
Last modified: 2013-09-12 11:35:45

Art teachers receive grants for art supplies

Four Watauga County Schools art teachers will receive $1,000 each in art supplies through the "Keep Arts Alive Awards," sponsored by Cheap Joe's Art Stuff and the Watercolor Society of North Carolina.


The awards were presented Saturday to: Chad Safferstone, who teaches at Bethel and Hardin Park; Jill Huffman, who teaches at Blowing Rock and Valle Crucis; Rae Filsinger, who teaches at Mabel and Parkway; and Tyler Deal, who teaches at Cove Creek and Green Valley. 


Each teacher will use the money to purchase art supplies for their classes during the remainder of the current school year. To win the awards, each teacher prepared an application that was reviewed by the Watercolor Society.


"This is an exciting opportunity to support arts education in Watauga County, and both WSNC and Cheap Joe's Art Stuff are proud to sponsor this award," said Janie Johnson of the WSNC.  "We are truly pleased to help develop the creative minds of our future artists."


Cheap Joe's and the Watercolor Society each donated $2,000 to the awards.  Watauga County residents Welborn and Patty Alexander contributed the funds for the Watercolor Society's share of the awards. The funding is officially designated for use by the schools and will remain available to each school if any art teacher should leave his or her position before the end of the year.


In addition to her funding for school art supplies, Deal was also awarded a scholarship to attend a week-long watercolor workshop with Mary Ann Beckwith, a nationally known watercolor artist who is offering workshops in Blowing Rock this fall and who was the featured presenter at the Watercolor Society's annual meeting this year.


The scholarship package includes up to $500 for the cost of a substitute teacher for Deal while she attends the workshop and a free "start-up" package of watercolor materials for her use.


Each year since 2007, WSNC and Cheap Joe's have partnered to give Keep Arts Alive awards to the schools in the county where the WSNC holds its annual exhibition.   This year's exhibition took place in Blowing Rock, making the Watauga County Schools the beneficiary of this year's awards. 


This is the final year of the Keep the Arts Alive Award by that name.  In recognition of the continued contributions of Joe Miller, the awards will be renamed the Cheap Joe's Art in Education Award in future years.


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