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What's New

Meet Council Member Donna Young

Arkansas Arts Council - Monday, June 17, 2019


Donna Young

Donna Young, of Van Buren, has long dedicated herself to helping others. She is a member of the Board of Directors for CASA of Crawford County, which helps children through the legal system. She is a longtime supporter of arts and cultural diversity – she is a past board member for the Center for Art & Education in Van Buren, board president of the Young Actors Guild and has been a member of the Arkansas Arts Council’s Advisory Council for more than a decade. Donna represents district 4, which covers the area between Logan County and the Oklahoma border and includes the area north into Crawford County and south into Polk County.

Q. How would you describe yourself?

A. I am a wife, mother and grandmother who loves to read and travel. I am an industrial engineer and certified financial planner who built her own business. I have a particular love for art because it brings pleasure, promotes creativity and allows for expression of feelings not easily articulated. Basically, art improves the quality of life in Arkansas.

I also value the incredible talent of artists because I have none of those abilities. On the whole, I would describe myself as someone who tries to help people in need, especially children. I am Presbyterian, I love my church, and I do my best to live my faith.

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

A. I have tried to develop and expand the cultural knowledge of my community by promoting artists and events. I have been and continue to be an active patron of the local art center and our youth theatre group. I also purchase art from local artists and attend live performances.

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

A. I believe the work they do is extremely important. I bring my best advice, based on my experience and education, to council meetings. I love serving, and I consider it a privilege.

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

A. I was appointed around 2008, then reappointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson this year.

Q. What are your biggest accomplishments as an artist or arts supporter?

A. My biggest contribution has been in serving from time to time on boards that support the arts. I have implemented structure and order that allows organizations to grow and accomplish their goals. I have seen the fruits of my labor in several major projects. For example, Van Buren will soon be building a beautiful, new space for the community. I had a small role, but I have been involved in the planning phases for years. Seeing the project become a reality was tremendously rewarding.

Also, the Young Actors Guild has made giant steps on many fronts and will continue to allow youth to experience performance arts and to gain valuable skills that will enhance their lives. Again, it has been very fulfilling to witness the impact and know that, in some small measure, the sustainability of the organization has been improved by my participation.

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

A. The goal remains the same – to support artists so we all can benefit from their talent. Advisory board members want to give artists financial support, guidance and mentoring and an audience for their works. At the end of the day, we want to improve the quality of life for all Arkansans via increased access and production of the arts in our state.

Also, we want to educate stakeholders on the importance of the creative economy and spread the word of the good work being done by the Arkansas Arts Council.

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

A. There is so much good stuff going on statewide. We have access to high quality art and extremely talented people living in our state. The Arkansas Arts Council promotes all those important activities and advocates for these critical contributors.