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Local Newsmakers - June 17, 2007

Betty Plumb receives national arts award

Betty Plumb of Rock Hill recently received the 2007 Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award from the Americans for the Arts during its meeting in Las Vegas.

Americans for the Arts is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts.

The award honors a person who has dramatically affected the political landscape through his or her arts advocacy efforts at the state level.

Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of the group, stated: "Betty has been a tremendous leader and passionate advocate for the arts and arts education in South Carolina."

Plumb, who has served as executive director of the S.C. Arts Alliance since 1994, has been dedicated to the state and to arts advocacy for almost 20 years.

Under her leadership, the alliance developed a grassroots advocacy base of supporters of arts, arts education legislation and funding.

The alliance serves as a technical assistance service provider and resource for local and statewide arts administrators, providing subsidies, workshops and consultancies in arts management and leadership development.

Plumb completed a two-year term as president of the State Arts Advocacy League of America, a national service organization for statewide advocacy agencies.

She has served as president of the National Community Arts Network, a statewide association of arts service providers, from 2002 to 2004 when SAALA and NCAN merged as a programmatic network of Americans for the Arts to form the State Arts Action Network.

Rock Hill teen wins photogenic award

Hannah Elizabeth MacDonald of Rock Hill was named winner of the most photogenic 2007 in the Miss Teen Charlotte's 16- to 19-year-old division at Queens University.

She was given a trophy, a sash and a trip to compete in Miss Teen National's competition in December in Orlando, Fla. Only 83 of the 575 ladies were selected to participate in the National's 2007 Miss Charlotte pageant.

Hannah also won most photogenic and third runner-up in her age division. The 16-year-old was given a trophy for each event.

The pageant awards scholarships and prizes for girls ages 10 to 19.

Hannah, a junior at Westminster Catawba Christian School in Rock Hill, is the daughter of Gregg and Sherri MacDonald.

Local ballet members attend summer programs

Several York County Ballet members have been selected from state and national auditions to attend summer intensive training programs.

The dancers at the programs are: Samantha Miller, American Ballet Theatre's Summer Intensive Program in New York; Sarah McCain Grant, Alyson Leonard and Jessica Miller, S.C. Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville; Victoria Melvin, contemporary dance at the N.C. School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, N.C.; Taylor Burnette and Kelsey Nyman, Ballet Magnificat in Jackson, Miss.; and Bethany Brown, Sarah McCain Grant, Katy Russell and Lucy Russell, Winthrop University's ST-Arts program.

The ballet was recently awarded a small grant by the Arts Council of Rock Hill and York County for choreography of the original contemporary piece "Tango." Martha Connerton, director of Kinetic Works, a contemporary dance company in Charlotte, was retained for the project.

The dancers chosen to perform are Eliza Blades, Taylor Burnette, Tina Deese, Katie Dobrowski, Katherine Keener and Jamie Scott.

The ballet has performed "Tango" and "Phoenix Rising" at Rock Hill's Come-See-Me festival, the York County Medical Society Alliance's fundraiser and at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston.

"Phoenix Rising" was choreographed by Jacqueline White from Open Door Studios in Charlotte and performed by Samantha Miller.

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