by Elle Lamboy
Meet Wendy Heiges, Program and Gallery Director at the Adams County Arts Council (ACAC). Her dedication and passion not only for the arts but also for the students who benefit from arts programming are inspiring.
This week, we are raising funds for our Arts Benefit Children (ABC) scholarship fund. All proceeds from the ABC campaign help Wendy and other dedicated staff and volunteers continue to instill the gift of art in the Gettysburg community. Your contribution provides scholarships for children who may not otherwise be able to attend arts camps and classes.
We’re happy to share this interview with Wendy here.
Question: You started with ACAC first as a volunteer, then joined the executive board and became co-coordinator of classes held at the Imagination Station on Carlisle St., and then you moved to your current staff position when ACAC moved to the Arts Education Center seven years ago. What have been your fondest memories/greatest accomplishments?
Wendy: I’m grateful to have had a chance to work with and promote outstanding artist/instructors in our community and to contribute, as the Program & Gallery Director of the ACAC, to the growth and sustainability of the arts through public classes and gallery events over the past 10 years.
Question: Why should someone support the ACAC’s ABC campaign?
Wendy: Investing time and money through art enrichment programs for children allows them to keep a school mindset during summer downtime, as well as cultivate and enrich their mind, social skills, boost their math and science skills, and dream time. Studies show that there is a community need for after-school and summer camp programs which help children thrive. The ACAC’s summer camps provide hands-on art enrichment opportunities in an encouraging, small classroom environment with professional instruction.
Question: Why are the arts important to you?
Wendy: The arts help my sense of well-being flourish, give me purpose, and add beauty and value to my everyday life.
Question: What do the arts do to enhance a community?
Wendy: The arts transcend age, gender, socio-economic background, and experience. When a person picks up a paint brush, handles a mound of clay, sings a song, dances, or takes a picture, their world for that moment is magical, and the possibilities seem boundless. The arts contribute to a vibrant community by encouraging diversity and by giving anyone who would like to shine a chance and a place to do so.
Question: Why should someone take a class at the ACAC at any age?
Wendy: I believe the classes at the ACAC are developed to provide the opportunity for anyone who would like to learn a creative skill in a comfortable and welcoming environment to do so. Cultivating your inner artist makes whatever else you do better. You feel better, and when you feel better, you approach other tasks at hand with a new sense of joy and purpose. You don’t have to be a professional artist to reap the benefits of the arts. Take a class at the Arts Education Center and see where it takes you!