Arts Commission marks 20th year by thanking, recognizing board members

Published 6:44 am Friday, July 20, 2018


Arts Commission of Danville-Boyle County

The Arts Commission, like many other non-profit organizations, counts on the dedication and generosity of people who volunteer their time for the good of the community. Rarely do these individuals receive the recognition they deserve.

Email newsletter signup

In small towns across the country, budget cuts in corporations and at the local, state and federal government levels have put added stress on the funding levels needed to provide services many citizens rely on. From assistance for basic needs to opportunities to participate in arts activities, many families turn to organizations which are dedicated to making sure every person has access and choice.


This marks the 20th Anniversary of the Arts Commission of Danville/Boyle County. While the organization has moved around, having shared office space in City Hall, at the Community Arts Center and at the McClure- Barbee House, it has found a home at its current location in the McKinney Conference Center in Constitution Square. This space has allowed the Arts Commission to offer sales and exhibit space for artists, as well as a dedicated meeting and conference area for arts support groups and programming.

To support the growth of the Arts Commission, the board has evolved into an active group of 12 individuals with varying talents and experiences to broaden perspective in serving the needs of a diverse and changing community.


Nationally, volunteer boards struggle to engage a range of membership and participation. Locally, we can boast a well above average rate of attendance and involvement. Statistically, volunteers are older. Individuals seek to balance time between family, business and community interests with two working parents and many activities their young children are involved in. In the changing world of communications, non-profit organizations must rely on volunteers who bring new skills to the table.

Esther Rugerio serves as the secretary of the Arts Commission Board. She is a graduate of Danville High School, holds two degrees from Eastern Kentucky University and is working on her certification in financial planning while employed with Encompass. Esther is an artist herself and brings experience with web design and social media. She never considered volunteering until a neighbor encouraged her to get involved on a board level.

Caleb Conover is another addition to the board with experience in technology development and organizational structure. In his professional role at the Boyle County Public Library, he is called upon to teach and help library patrons solve problems with their use of electronic devices.


He recently taught a class for the Arts Commission to assist participants in taking advantage of the camera features of their cell phones. The class was so popular, there was a waiting list.

Mary Noelker joined the board in 2017. She is a jeweler and brings the experience of exhibiting statewide and is a Kentucky Crafted certified artist. The Kentucky Crafted program is a rigorous process which recognizes artists who demonstrate the highest standards of their craft as well as a thorough business background in arts marketing.

Other board members serving the Arts Commission are Mary Conley, Boyle County treasurer and deputy county judge-executive; Dana Dixon, co-owner of Dixon Design; Alex Meckes, Kentucky School for the Deaf art teacher; Kathy Milby, financial advisor with Wealth South; Charlie Perry, the Charlie Perry Show; Michael Ross, actor and musician; and Erin Tipton, campus director at Bluegrass Community & Technical College. Janna Rigney and Madelyn Worley serve the board as emeritus members.

The Arts Commission appreciates these dedicated volunteers who generously share their talents, expertise and time to serve all Danville and Boyle County citizens. The commission welcomes persons who are have suggestions for programming or an interest in serving as a volunteer or as a board member.

To find out more or to volunteer, email

Mimi Becker is executive director of the Arts Commission of Danville-Boyle County.