Arts Council Facts and Firsts


Rutherford County Arts Council began life in 1971 as the Performing Arts Guild with the stated purpose of "community development through the arts." The musical Camelot was the first smash-hit production of the fledgling arts agency, with Oklahoma, South Pacific, Carousel, and The King and I quickly following.

But spectacular musicals, though highly visible, were not the only successes of the young, broad-based organization. The very popular "School Volunteer Program" was organized to fill the need for arts education in the schools, and continued for several years, until such time as the schools themselves could take over the task. The "Spring Thing," an annual countywide outdoor arts/crafts/music/heritage festival was begun and continued until 2001, when Rutherford Towne Revitalization agreed to take on sponsorship of the event. Young Artists and Young Writers Competitions were begun and still continue. Summer Arts Camps and Orchestral String Workshops for children, productions touring the schools, concerts by premier artists such as the Polish choir Cappela Cracoviensis and the Strategic Air Command Band, monthly "Coffee Concerts," county and regional planning meetings, a regional events calendar, and more were the many and varied services provided by the Arts Council throughout the years. The name was changed to Rutherford County Arts Council in 1976 to reflect more accurately the multi-faceted role the agency was playing and would continue to play in the cultural life of the region.

While some of these functions have been gradually taken up by other groups in the county, the Arts Council continues working with other cultural and educational organizations to provide various programs and services to meet the county's changing cultural needs.

Today, the Arts Council maintains Art/CultureNet, an arts information clearinghouse. It also continues its long-held commitment both to arts in education and to the production of high-quality cultural events.




Business Committee for the Arts

Communities Forum

Religion and the Arts

Arts and Education

Arts Disciplines

Director, Educational Foundation

Business Consultant/Dance Instructor

Arts Administrator/Theatrical Director/Actor

College English Professor



University Music Professor/Singer/Actor

Retired Teacher/Community Advocate/Singer

Film Maker, Actor, Musician

Vernon Hoyle, Chairman

Myra Cowan, Vice Chairman

Matthew McEnnerney, President

Barbara Peterson, Secretary

Jesse McKinney, Treasurer

Lynne Tanner

Patricia Harrelson

Joan King

Devin McEnnerney