The role of cultural opportunities in thriving communities will be the topic of the Austin College 2017 Public Administration Symposium on Wednesday, April 5. The event will be highlighted by a keynote address by Jim Bob McMillan, deputy director of the Texas Commission on the Arts. Two panel discussions focus on cultural offerings in Sherman. The symposium is free and open to the public but reservations for the keynote luncheon address are required. To make a reservation, email the names of attendees to PASymposium@austincollege.edu by the end of the day on Monday, April 3.
The symposium begins at 11 a.m. in Wright Campus Center, Room 231, with a panel presentation, “CityLab: Creating a Cultural District,” by a number of Austin College students who worked with Sherman leaders during January Term 2017 course. Panelists include freshman Victoria Dodd of Pottsboro, Texas; freshman Nicholaus Frederick of Pantego, Texas; sophomore Jessica Hayden of Dallas, Texas; sophomore Brandt Lawson of Garland, Texas; junior Kylie Menocal of Plano, Texas; freshman Ana Pedro of Sherman, Texas; freshman Antonio Saavedra of Plano, Texas; and freshman Alisa White of Arlington, Texas.
The keynote address by Jim Bob McMillan, “The Role of Arts and Culture in Creating Vibrant Communities,” will be presented at the noon luncheon in Wright Campus Center’s Mabee Hall. McMillan is a native Texan with 40 years of experience working as a volunteer and a professional with community-based arts organizations. As deputy director at the Texas Commission on the Arts, he manages the Cultural Districts program and oversees local arts-agency grant programs.
The speaker previously served as executive director of the Writers’ League of Texas and vice president of the Texas Arts Council, both in Austin. He has worked with more than 400 community-based arts organizations around Texas and across the nation. McMillan was the executive director of both the Marshall Regional Arts Council and the Del Rio Council for the Arts. He also has taught art, speech, and journalism on the high school and university level.
Originally from Alpine, Texas, McMillan graduated from Sul Ross State University with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and a master’s degree in art education.
After lunch, local cultural leaders will present a panel, “Stewards of the Arts in Sherman. Participants include Rick Duhaime, Austin College Mildred E. Mosher Chair of Music, professor of music, and conductor of the Greater Texoma Orchestra; Daniel Dominick, Austin College associate professor of music and conductor of the Sherman Symphony Orchestra; Fred Freeman, president of the Sherman Community Players Board of Directors; and John McGinn, Austin College associate professor of music and member of the board of the Community Series.
The annual symposium is sponsored by the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation of Dallas and Austin College’s Posey Leadership Institute, Department of Political Science, Pre-Law Society, and Center for Community and Regional Development.
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.