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High Notes

August 10, 2011
Share your  news: who’s who, who’s where and who’s gotten what prize.    High Notes announces new executive directors at arts organizations, transitions in leadership and major awards won by artists and arts organizations across our state.  Send your news for High Notes to .
Taking the helm….
Read what’s happening in Greenwood, Lancaster and Barnwell as new directors take the helms of arts organizations. Welcome to Cecily Morris, Debbie Jaillette and Dana S. Bell.




Taking the helm….

Cecily Morris

Greenwood-Lander Performing Arts has raised the curtain on its 65th season with a new executive director.

Cecily Bradford Morris of Abbeville began her new job on May 16, succeeding Myra Greene Shaffer, who left at the end of 2010 to become Lander University’s director of Alumni Affairs.

Morris is past president and board member of the Abbeville Opera House where her credits also include acting, stage and house manager, set designer, box office volunteer and usher. “I have a passion for the arts,” she said.

Cecily received a bachelor’s degree in studio art and a master’s in education from Furman University, and, while at Furman, she became heavily involved in theatre, negotiating contracts with nationally known performers. Her experience also includes grant writing, public relations and promotion in both the arts and education.

A graphic artist, Morris has worked as an art teacher in the Greenville and Abbeville county school districts. She was assistant principal and on-site supervisor for the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice middle and high school programs at the juvenile facility in Greenwood.

For five years, she was the principal of McCormick Middle School in McCormick County. She retired from that position in 2009 and returned to the Abbeville school district to teach art at Wright Middle School.

Morris said, “It is an honor to be part of GLPA to serve the Greenwood community and surrounding areas.”

Dave Lorenzatti, president of the GLPA board of directors said, “We are excited to have somebody with Cecily’s background, experience and enthusiasm to become executive director. We expect the organization to continue to thrive under her leadership.”

Morris is responsible for all aspects of GLPA, including arranging the annual performance schedule and the organization’s Outreach program for schoolchildren, and soliciting financial support. Jackie Counts, the Outreach coordinator, is a former music teacher and she and Morris worked together in the Abbeville school district for 13 years.

For 64 seasons, Greenwood-Lander Performing Arts has brought some of the world’s most talented musicians, dancers and actors to the stage of the Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium at Lander University

Contact Cecily at or 864.388.8326.

Debbie Jaillette

Lancaster Arts Council Board Member  assumes new role as E.D.

(This story is excerpted from an editorial and a news story printed from The Lancaster News, Wednesday, July 13, 2011)
The Lancaster County Council of the Arts has seen a lot of changes lately. In June, executive director Sam Courtney, who led the council for the past six years, announced that he was resigning. In July, a former arts council board member, Debbie Jaillette,  stepped into the executive director’s role.  
 Debbie Jaillette’s first official day was July 1.  “That was a huge vote of confidence from the board,” Jaillette said Wednesday. “Hopefully I’ve got the right mix (of skill and experience) that it takes to help the arts grow in Lancaster County.”
The Arts Council, located in the old Springs House on Gay Street, promotes the arts in Lancaster County by providing educational opportunities for students and various programming and services for the general public. Jaillette, who is a past president of the Arts Council’s board, now sees herself as an extension of the council’s strategic plan. Goals include providing more accessible programs, remaining an arts advocate, serving as a local arts resource and growing its membership.
She said the latter is vital, as funding shortages continue to have a huge impact.
“We have to maintain funding and sponsorships,” she said.
A new experience
Jaillette worked for nearly 30 years in human resources for Kanawha Insurance Co. However, her position was phased out in 2009 as a result of Humana’s acquisition of the company.
But Jaillette looked at the bright side. She used the extra time to become more involved with the arts – whether it’s directing theater productions or helping out with Arts Council programs.
“For me, it was just a logical interest,” Jaillette said about being involved with the council. “I have a sincere desire to see people exposed to the arts.”
David Platts, board president of the Arts Council, said she possesses tireless energy and enthusiasm that is contagious.
“The board members of the LCCA are delighted to have Mrs. Jaillette as the new executive director,” Platts said. “Her passion for the arts, her commitment to Lancaster County, and her unwavering belief and longstanding service with the LCCA and its mission make Mrs. Jaillette an ideal choice to lead our organization.”
Reach Debbie at or at 803.285.7451.

Dana S. Bell

Building partnerships and connections…
Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dana S. Bell  picked up an additional hat to wear this Spring when she was named director of the Barnwell Arts Council .  A lifelong resident of Barnwell and an arts advocate,  she replaces former Director Penny Creech.   “We’ve had some great successes–like having more than 200 people attend “A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline”–but also face many of the same struggles other arts councils face like membership retention,”  she said.
Community outreach is an important component of the arts council’s work. “We partnered with the City of Barnwell this summer to present the U.S. Army’s  Signal  Corps Band; that was followed by a fireworks display.  Hundreds attended.”   A part of the lower Savannah Region, Barnwell is nestled between Aiken,  Orangeburg, Allendale, Bamberg and the Georgia line.  It is part of the Salkehatchie Arts Initiative and under Dana’s leadership is committed to continuing to work regionally as well as closer to home.   Besides sitting on the Salkehatchie Arts Board, Dana also serves as a board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Carolina as well as  the Barnwell County Advisory Board.
With her husband and two children, she makes her home in Barnwell.   She holds a  Master of Education Degree and has  thirty-plus hours of graduate credit beyond her Masters. In addition to having been a classroom teacher, she has served as the K-8 Science Curriculum Coordinator for Barnwell District 45.
Reach Dana at or at 803.259.4589.   
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