Cagle's proclamation supports the arts

Thursday, April 12, 2012
Haven Cagle with Gov. Mike Beebe following the signing of her proclamation (Courtesy photo)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012, will be a special day for Haven Cagle of Rector. The 15-year-old daughter of David and Karen Cagle has been the driving force behind actions to have that date proclaimed as Arkansas Arts Advocacy Day, signed into effect by Gov. Mike Beebe.

Cagle is the reigning Miss Northeast Arkansas Outstanding Teen and will be competing for the title of Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen June 27-30 in Hot Springs. As part of the competition's requirements, Cagle must have a platform which she supports. For the talented teen, promoting the arts and its benefits is very close to her heart. Cagle has studied dance since the age of two, literally winning a room full of awards.

"It (dance) takes a lot of hard work, but it's also very rewarding," Cagle said. "I've been able to be a part of things through dance that I wouldn't have experienced in anything else."

An active member of the Rector High School cheerleading squad and drama troupe, she has worked with numerous young students in choreography, most recently working with elementary students in performing a well-received routine during the alumni basketball game in late March.

"Working with the younger kids is a lot of fun," Cagle said. "They have so much energy and are excited about dancing."

Cagle is using more than her personal experiences as support for the arts, however. In planning her proclamation, she referenced studies which show participation in the arts encourages students to have better grades, increased teamwork skills and improved self-esteem, among other benefits.

"The arts have a very positive influence in kids' lives and everyone's lives," Cagle said.

Cagle hopes the proclamation will help create a greater awareness of the arts and their potential benefits.

"I know what the arts mean to me and to other people who are involved," Cagle said. "Hopefully, this will help raise awareness of the arts so even more people can enjoy them."

Cagle began working on the proclamation around two months ago, gathering information and going through the proper channels. Early on, she received invaluable assistance from State Rep. Mike Patterson, who, along with Clay County Arts Council president Gail Burns, was instrumental in helping Cagle contact the Arkansas Arts Council. The state council assisted in wording the proposed (at that time) proclamation. Patterson also assisted Cagle in getting her proposal before Gov. Beebe, who signed it March 5.

With the state lending its support, Cagle has been securing local support for the proclamation as well. She met Monday, April 9, with Clay County Judge Gary Howell, who also signed the proclamation into effect for the county.

"It's exciting," Cagle said. "With everything coming together like it has, there's a sense of accomplishment. I want to thank Gov. Beebe, Judge Howell, Rep. Mike Patterson and everyone who has helped me and supported this."

Cagle, who has a 4.0 grade point average, hopes to someday own her own business.

"I want to be a hairstylist. I want to open my own hair salon with a coffee shop and a bookstore."

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