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Carson-Newman honors May’s service to Appalachia during evening event

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Bill May, executive director of Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, speaks to guests gathered in the University's Appalachian Center.

Bill May, executive director of Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, speaks to guests gathered at the University's Appalachian Center.

(April 2, 2014)- Carson-Newman honored Bill May on April 1, during an evening ceremony on campus. May, who serves as executive director of Gatlinburg’s historic Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, was presented the 2014 Outstanding Educational Service to Appalachia Award.

“I’m flattered. I’m honored,” said May to a packed crowd in the University’s Appalachian Center. “Like many good things, this award was an honor, but was also an unexpected surprise.”

May, who attended the event with his wife Anne, was presented art work by Carson-Newman Artist-in-Residence Bill Houston. “I want to thank Carson-Newman University, Dr. (Randall) O’Brien, Dr. (Jennifer) Hall, faculty, and the people who came tonight,” he said. “This award is very special.”

A Birmingham, Ala, native, May has served as executive director of Gatlinburg’s historic Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts since 2011. A national art education center, Arrowmont offers a variety of workshops taught by national and international practicing studio artists and university faculty. Students work and learn in professionally equipped studios at the Gatlinburg campus.

Along with serving as executive director of Arrowmont, May has served as juror for exhibitions and makes presentations on art education and the creative process. He has been a member of an advisory committee for the “Parks as Classroom” program and is currently on the board of The Gatlinburg Gateway Foundation and is an ex officio board member for the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce and the Gatlinburg Visitor and Convention Bureau.

“Bill May’s commitment to art education continues to inspire,” championed Dr. Jennifer Hall, director of the University’s Appalachian Center. “His mission to save Arrowmont is nothing short of heroic. He motivates us all to stand firm in our promotion of, commitment to, and unashamed celebration of Appalachian art and culture.”

Now in its 25th year, Carson-Newman’s Award for Outstanding Educational Service to Appalachia has recognized outstanding individuals for their contributions to the region. Past honorees include: last year’s recipient Jim Claborn, John Rice Irwin, Bill Landry, Helen Lewis, Jeff Daniel Marion, Lee Smith, James Still, and Wilma Dykeman Stokely.

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