Coleen West, Howard County Arts Council
As the only professional equity theatre in the county, “Rep Stage stays true to the vision of Columbia as an open society. Columbia has worked hard to attract artists who are free spirits and take risks, and Rep Stage often shows rare and challenging repertoire that you can’t find everywhere,” states Coleen West, executive director of the Howard County Arts Council.
Howard County Arts Council supports operations and productions for Rep Stage through annual Community Arts Development program grants, which provide funding to Howard County arts organizations and arts projects at non-arts organizations.
According to West, support and promotion of the arts plays a critical role in fostering the positive values of our community. “The arts have an intrinsic value. They add to our quality of life and personal growth, teach us about humanity and give us inspiration.”
And there is a more measureable impact. “Providing opportunities for the public to engage in the arts is an economic driver for the community. It also helps to attract people to our community.”
Founded in 1981, Howard County Arts Council’s mission is to foster excellence and vitality in the arts and provide opportunities for public engagement. Support of Howard Community College is a natural fit.
“Partnering with HCC allows us to support both aspects of the arts, as an educational institution and public venue,” states Executive Director, Coleen West. “We know that our support benefits students, faculty, and the community.”