Editorial: Three cheers

Apr. 04, 2014 @ 10:45 PM

Arrowmont’s goal reached

Thursday afternoon it was official — Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg had reached its $8 million fundraising goal for the purchase of its 13-acre campus, ending years of speculation about the school’s future in the mountain city.

“We are grateful to those who have made it clear that they believe in Arrowmont’s future as much as they value its rich history,” Bill May, the school’s executive director, said. “Arrowmont plays a role in the cultural life of our community and contributes to craft education on a national level.”

The group’s fundraising success is certainly a positive development. Arrowmont has been a vital part of the community for years, and now, with this deal in place to purchase the land from the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women, Sevier County can breathe a collective sigh of relief. The school should continue to provide Gatlinburg and county residents with a place to experience world-class art in a personal setting. For years the school has exposed area students to the arts, cultivating creativity through workshops field trips as part of the ArtReach program. Now, all of that should continue for the foreseeable future. 


A community of active seniors

One thing’s for certain in Sevier County.

If you’re an active senior, there’s plenty to do.

Whether its the dozens of activities slated at the Fort Sanders Sevier Senior Center, including their upcoming Senior Expo on April 25, the regular series of senior-focused events scheduled at the Sevier County Public Library System or independent senior clubs, there’s always something going on — usually at no charge — for our area’s experienced adults.

Gatlinburg’s Anna Porter Public Library has gotten into the act of late, running a Wednesday program — Wednesdays with Betty — which seeks to educate older adults on library programs and features as well as providing other areas of instruction.

Sometimes that could be art instruction, sometimes computers or sometimes, like this coming Wednesday’s financial literacy workshop, it could be a more weighty topic.

As the Baby Boomer generation grows older and more retire to the Smoky Mountains, the more events and activism we have like these the better.


Big thumbs up to Youth of the Year

Its not every day a local student is honored with a statewide award, but just such an event happened Wednesday in Nashville at the annual Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year Celebration at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown.

Seymour Boys & Girls Club member Ashley Heatherly, a senior at Seymour High School, came away with the state Youth of the Year title.

“It feels absolutely amazing to be able to represent my club,” Heatherly said immediately after her win. “This is one of those moments that I’ll never forget.”

The club won’t soon forget you either, Ashley. “She’s the best young adult I’ve ever known,” Eric Harper, who currently serves as branch manager of the Sevierville club, but once ran the Seymour facility, said. “She’s always been very outgoing and gives back. She’s worked extremely hard for this, and I couldn’t be prouder of her ... she is a tremendous young lady with a wealth of potential. She will be able to accomplish anything she puts her mind to.”