Botetourt County has several members in the Athenian Society of Arts and Sciences. Director of Center in the Square Jim Sears posted on the website details of what the society is and does, “On May 1, 1980, a group of women who had worked together in various arts organizations, decided to form an organization of their own. They named the organization “The Athenian Society for the Arts & Sciences,” for the city of Athens, the cultural capital of the classical world.”
“The object of the organization is to further the arts and sciences in the community by cultivating opportunities for enrichment and education, and by nurturing cooperation with, and lending assistance to, organizations dedicated to the arts and sciences,” he continued.
“For over 25 years, The Athenian Society has sought to fill the manpower needs for many art projects for non-profit organizations. Tasks undertaken each year have reflected the needs of the arts and the talents and interests of members. There has been one consistent element in these projects and that is a particular emphasis on those which educate and benefit children.” Sears noted.
Some of the opportunities involving the memebership include:
Since Center in the Square opened in 1983, Athenian members have volunteered to staff the Information Desk in the Atrium. The group has grown from membership of 41 at first meeting to 100 members today. Recent projects include members providing lunch and accompanying a child from Boys and Girls Clubs to a matinee production at Mill Mountain Theatre. AS has also provided assistance for Downtown Living tours. The group meets monthly (September-April) at WDBJ7 Community Room, Meetings begin at 10 AM with a program and public is invited to attend. The membership also holds a monthly art study/discussion event.
Upcoming programs sponsored by the Athenian society through April 2014:
January 17 Speaker: Virginia Poole Mill, Mountian Theatre. Member of the Board for Center in the Square recommended Virginia Poole. She was the one employee left when Mill Mountian Theatre Playhouse drew the final curtain. Virginia Poole, with the help of the Board and many friends of the Theatre, helped open the curtains again.
February 20 Speaker: Jon Boettcher Why Do We Collect Keepsakes? We use keepsakes to stimulate memory, especially to trigger fond memories. But even if memory connot be relied upon to faithfully reproduce a record of the past, it remains fital to our understanding of our past. Jon’s father gave him a camera for his 8th birthday in 1950. He still has it.
March 20 Speaker: Dr. Michael Bentley “Our Planet, Our Future.” Michael Bentley currently serves as Education Associate for the Virginia Museum of Natural History and directs Hollins University’s Annual Elementary Science Institute for Teachers. He is co-founder of Roanoke’s Community High School and currently serves on the boards of Plowshares Peace and Justice Center. He has written over two-dozen bookds about science and science education.
April 17 Speaker: Betsy Ashton President of the Virginia Writers Guild. Betsy’s latest book “Mad Max: Unintended Consequences” and she promises that we’ll have a ripping good time. She was thinking of a title “What do you want to be when you grow up.”
The society held a holiday luncheon in December. In the photograph are the Botetourt County members. They are:
Back Row – Jackie Delk, Karen Hicks (President 1994-96), Beverly Stafford, Jane Hays, Barbara
Dennis, Helen Madine-Gregory
Front Row – Paula Levine, Peggy Davis
To join or for more information, call 540-989-8299.
Photo and information provided by the Athenian Society