A Special Holiday Gift to the Arts
The season of giving continued past the traditional holidays with a very special donation to the Rector Schools art department. The kindness of a respected local family, and a bond between longtime friends, resulted in a donation of $2,270 by Julie Mobley and her adult children, Will and Jenna, to Rector Art teacher Joel Boyd Monday at Centennial Bank.
The funds were originally collected in lieu of flowers after the loss of Mobley family patriarch Mike in 2005. Friends and family made donations which, at the time, were hoped to be used in the creation of a new, separate theatre structure for the RHS drama department. The project did not get off the ground, but the caring nature behind the goal has remained, yielding this opportunity to provide students with insights into the arts.
"We wanted to do something to support the arts and what they've meant to our family through the years," Julie said. "I know there are many people here who have enjoyed the arts, as well, and what these opportunities mean to children."
Will Mobley and Boyd are longtime friends who shared the stage during many productions before both graduated from RHS in 2006. The pair delighted many crowds with their skill and exuberance onstage and off. After high school, the young men went on to study at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Ga. Mobley continued studying acting while Boyd focused on visual arts. Today, both friends continue to work in their mediums of focus, with Mobley working as an actor in Chicago and Boyd continuing as an artist and a teacher. Julie and Jenna reside in Little Rock. Jenna also works with children, teaching third grade in North Little Rock.
"Now that Joel has come back to Rector, we thought the funds should go there," Julie said. "We know he's dedicated, having spent so much time with him through the years, and that his work with his students is very important."
Boyd said he hopes to use the funds to help the art department take special trips, perhaps to museums in Memphis or the Crystal Bridge Museum of American Art in Bentonville. Trips such as these are costly, but the Mobley's donation will make a big difference in planning something memorable for Boyd's students.
"I'm very grateful for this," Boyd said. "The Mobleys have always been very supportive of the arts, and this donation will help introduce more students to the world of art."
"We're very happy to see it go to a great cause," Will said. "This is something our family is happy to support and be involved with."