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Meet Advisory Council Member Gin Brown

Arkansas Arts Council - Friday, March 20, 2020

Gin BrownEugenia “Gin” Brown, of Mountain View, is a crafter, arts lover and arts supporter who spends her time advocating for the arts community of District 2, which covers north-central Arkansas from White to Fulton counties. She is president of the Arkansas Craft School Board and helped organize the school’s fundraising gala this past November. The school started in 2007, and Brown is the only original board member still serving. Brown believes offering training and professional development services to artists and artisans strengthens communities by building up their creative economies.

Q. How would you describe yourself?

A. I would describe myself as a lifelong learner, a believer in the value of an education and the opportunities it offers, a volunteer who helps support my community and a person who enjoys meeting and being around a variety of people.

Q. What is your connection with the arts in Arkansas?

A. My background is in education – both at the public school and college levels. While serving as campus coordinator for Ozarka College in Mountain View, I was selected to serve on the Board of the Arkansas Craft School (ACS). Ozarka College was one of three partner groups on the ground level of developing the ACS. Currently, I am the only original board member still serving. Because of my relationship with the ACS, I have developed a deeper appreciation of artists, arts educators, art students and artworks in general. Joining the Arkansas Arts Council has given me an even wider understanding and view of the arts. From my perspective, Arkansas is truly a creative state.

Although I would not call myself a “true” artist, I am an arts supporter and admirer. I enjoy taking art classes, but I don’t have a specific media I work in. I also like to go to galleries, museums and arts events. I love to watch other artists create, too. Gee, how talented some people are!

Q. Why is it important to be on the Advisory Council of the Arkansas Arts Council?

A. It is important to be a member of the Advisory Council because, not only have I become more familiar with the work of the AAC, it has given me the opportunity to spread the word about what the AAC offers. I learn about programs that support the arts, and then tell my community. I also have the opportunity to let the AAC know what my arts community needs to thrive. We must advocate and support the arts because they are an economic driver in Arkansas. 

Q. When were you appointed or how long have you been on the advisory board?

A. I was honored to be appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson in 2015 and was reappointed in 2017. My appointment expires June 30, 2021.

Q. What would you like to see the advisory board, or the Arts Council, accomplish this year?

A. Funding is always an important issue. I’d like to see continued funding for Arkansas artists and art programs. I want to increase educational workshops and programs for artists, and when possible, offer more programs in different parts of the state. We also need to continue to support our well-qualified, dedicated AAC staff. They are the folks on the ground keeping the wheels of the AAC working for the benefit of all of Arkansas.

Q. What do you wish people knew about Arkansas’s arts communities, the Arts Council or the advisory board?

A. First, the arts are an economic driver in the state. A thriving art community not only increases tourism but improves the quality of daily life for all residents. Additionally, the importance of art education for all children cannot be over emphasized. Involvement in the arts for children increases their academic success as well as their mental wellbeing. Finally, I wish more artists would take advantage of the programs and funding opportunities offered by the Arkansas Arts Council. Apply for grants, take advantage of workshops, join the Artist Registry. Opportunities are available for all artists. There are many talented artist and art opportunities in Arkansas.