Department also adds Anna McKeown as coordinator
Mary Beth Harding has been promoted to director of Community Education by Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, it was announced by Hilrie Brown, vice president of institutional advancement. She was previously coordinator of the department.
In her new position, Harding (pictured at left) will develop and oversee the department’s diverse non-credit and credit programs including the Adult Community Education, Young Artists, Pre-College and Outreach Programs, which attract approximately 1,000 children, teens and adults annually. Led by teaching artists, these unique studio-based classes and workshops enable students of all ages to express their artistic abilities and provide them with the tools to pursue a life of creativity.
Before joining Watkins last year, Harding worked at the Sarratt Art Studios at Vanderbilt University, coordinating programming, communications and events; she also supervised the Sarratt Youth Art Institute and taught an introductory studio class. She has served in various communication, planning and support roles for the American Artisan Festival since 2007. Harding holds a B.A. from Vanderbilt in Anthropology, Psychology, Women and Gender Studies, and is a member of the Young Nonprofit Professionals initiative.
“The Community Education department at Watkins is in good hands with Mary Beth as director,” said Hilrie Brown. “Because she is a practicing artist in her own right, she knows the importance of seeking out teaching artists who are able to deliver the most appealing and current visual arts course offerings for adults and youth. She has a keen understanding of howcommunity-based visual arts curricula should be developed and, under her leadership, we know the program will continue to grow and expand its opportunities for our community.”
Additionally, Watkins has hired Anna McKeown (at right) as coordinator, Community Education. A 2013 graduate of Belmont University where she majored in Studio Arts, she worked previously as assistant in the university’s Art Department and helped develop a visual arts component to the non-profit children’s arts organization, Artstarts, in her hometown of Marion, Illinois.
photos by Samantha Angel