Thursday, April 29, 2010


On April, 21, Donna Sue Groves was honored by the Ohio Arts Council with a Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio. Winners were selected from nominations submitted by individuals and organizations throughout Ohio. A selection committee made up of members of the Ohio Arts Council board chooses the winners. Ms Groves' O.A.C. Bio is below:

Donna Sue Groves, Manchester

Donna Sue Groves has been the connector and spark that brings people, resources, and dreams together, building civic and community capacity at the grass roots level for over 40 years. Throughout Ohio, and especially in Appalachia, she has worked hand-in-hand with communities, building fruitful partnerships, and bringing resources to economically disadvantaged communities—giving them the skills, tools and networks needed to build successful arts business that stimulate local economies.

As coordinator of the Appalachian Arts Initiative from 1991-1999, Groves developed the first Directory of Appalachian Arts and Artists in Ohio. In her role as OAC Southern Ohio field representative from 2001-2008, she continued to grow the Directory and served a vital role in ongoing work with the artists and arts organizations in Appalachia. As a tireless leader and advocate for the arts and culture in Appalachia, her own strong Appalachian identity and passion for bringing recognition to underserved communities and individual artists is unmatched. Groves fights tirelessly to keep Appalachian Ohio in the public eye and in the minds of arts funders statewide—allowing startup groups and artists with limited resources to grow their audience, market their products and create economic opportunities based on their creative work. She has made it her personal mission to communicate both the cultural and economic value of the region to both its artists and the communities who help create a market for their work. This is a critical element in laying the groundwork for revenue-building, creative industries in isolated, economically depressed, Appalachian border communities.

Grove’s own vision took root in the Quilt Barn Project. Honoring her mother, she thought quilt square murals installed on barns would be a unique way for communities to emphasize and utilize local assets for economic development. What began in rural Adams County in 2001, now draws visitors from all over the country who drive and bike through the Ohio countryside enjoying quilt trails comprised of more than 500 murals in 21 counties. The Quilt Barn Project has become a cultural tourism phenomenon that now stretches across 26 states with 98 dedicated driving trails.

In 2004 Groves received the Jenco Foundation Inspirational Service Arts Award and was named an Outstanding Philanthropist by the Foundation for Appalachia Ohio. In 2006 Sinclair Community College awarded her the Wayne White, Unsung Hero Award.

Groves irrepressible spirit demonstrates each day that one person can make a difference sharing by her knowledge, vision, and love for the arts. She has built deep trust and collaboration in communities across the state and nation by living her motto of "giving people a hand up, not a hand out." Her ongoing collaborative work to celebrate and raise awareness of the unique gifts, talents and cultural traditions of Appalachian Ohio embody the very spirit of participation and community development.

I say, Well done Donna Sue... Well done!

1 comment:

~donna sue said...

Thanks Bruce for sharing the information. I was extremely honored and humbled to receive the award.

I appreciate your work and devotion to keep the news current regarding the quilt trails via your blog!

NOTE: Save the date - May 13-14, 2011. We will have a "Quilt Trail Celebration" in Adams County, Ohio celebrating the 10th year anniversary and Suzi Parron's book. Everyone is invited! More details to follow this summer..........