April 29, 2011 was an extraordinary day! The sun was shining brightly after a full week of rain, the Royal Wedding took place in London and was broadcast around the world, it was my birthday (29 again), and I was honored by Northern Illinois University with the Outstanding Alumni Award.
I fell in love with art as a child...and because of this love I have fallen in love with LIFE. I have made a life out of my love and because of that, it has been only natural to share it with others.
I graduated from NIU in 1993 with a degree in Art Education. I always knew I wanted to give back. I wasn't sure exactly how I would do it. But I knew I would do it. I started my career off my basement floor and began a community event in my living room. My training at NIU to become an Arts Advocate led me to generate proceeds from my events to fund scholarships for passionate and deserving art students. To date, we (my community) have given 42 scholarships to the Summer in the Arts Program at NIU. I am so appreciative of how it has grown!
I hope that this award will give others the power to take something that they love, share it with others, and give back. I believe that with love if you "Give, it will be given right back to you". And to see a young person shine, well that's a great gift. I am so very grateful.
I fell in love with art as a child...and because of this love, I have fallen in love with LIFE!