ROCK HILL, S.C. - During its fourth annual Medal of Honor in the Arts ceremony on Oct. 21, Winthrop University will honor a music educator, a painter, a playwright, a couple who contributed over 50 years to Winthrop’s music and art scenes and an arts administrator.
The Medal of Honor in the Arts is the most prestigious award granted by the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Proceeds from the 8 to 11 p.m. event in Johnson Hall Theatre will go towards arts scholarships for Winthrop students who pursue careers in the visual arts, dance, music or theatre.
The recipients are: Ray Doughty of Fort Mill, S.C.; Harriet Marshall Goode of Rock Hill, S.C.; Charles Randolph-Wright of New York City, N.Y.; the late Walter B. Roberts and Georgina Wooton-Roberts (accepting on their behalf is their daughter, Mary Jean Hardin); and Scott Shanklin-Peterson of Charleston, S.C.
Winthrop officials said the event celebrates the achievements of the honorees and showcases the creative talents of the students and faculty of Winthrop. "This is truly a remarkable evening where artistic achievements are honored, talents are recognized, and future aspirations are encouraged," said Don Rogers, interim dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. "It’s a wonderful celebration of the arts and the artists, and Winthrop University’s unique role in bringing them together."
Here is the background on this year’s recipients:
• Ray Doughty has been an influential music educator and arts education advocate throughout his professional career. Born in Columbia S.C., Doughty earned his Bachelor in Music Education degree from the University of South Carolina, a Master Degree in Music Education from East Carolina University and an Education Specialist Degree in School Administration from Western Carolina University. He founded the instrumental and choral music programs at Southside High School in Florence, S.C., was the band director at TL Hanna in Anderson, S.C., and was employed at West Market Elementary School as a music educator until he served as the Anderson District Five music coordinator. He later joined Winthrop as a professor of music, lecturer in music education, and the project director for South Carolina’s Arts in Basic Curriculum Project - a nationally recognized arts education reform model. In 1998, Doughty retired from Winthrop and presently works as an arts education consultant. Doughty is a member of the South Carolina Music Educators Hall of Fame, a recipient of the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Arts in Education Award and the South Carolina Arts Alliance’s Scottie Award. Currently, he is composing songs for an upcoming play celebrating the history of Fort Mill.
Doughty said that he was fortunate to grow up in a home environment that valued the arts, especially music. "My mother taught piano in a home studio, and I began my teaching career as her assistant while still in high school. I believe the value of the arts not only for their esthetic value but also for their life shaping values. My life’s work as teacher, administrator and mentor for more than 50 years now has been to bring the joy and practical values of the arts to students of all ages."
• A native of Rock Hill and a graduate from Winthrop Training School, Harriet Marshall Goode is no stranger to Winthrop. Her mother attended Winthrop as did her two aunts and sister. Since 2001, Goode has been owner of Gallery 5, a contemporary art-space in Rock Hill. Goode’s award winning paintings have been exhibited regionally and nationally and are owned by collectors throughout the United States and abroad. Goode attended Converse College, and over the years has studied art with William Halsey, at Silvermine Art School in Canaan, Conn., and at Winthrop. A former president of the S.C. Watercolor Society, she has served on the board of the Rock Hill Arts Council and the board of the Culture and Heritage Commission. Currently, she is a member of the Patrons of the Winthrop Galleries and the Rock Hill Downtown Board of Directors. Goode is a recipient of the Rock Hill Arts Council Volunteer of the Year Award, a Career Achievement Award from Converse College, and the Keeper of the Culture Award from the Cultural and Heritage Commission.
Goode’s favorite quotation is by George Bernard Shaw: Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.
She noted: "Often we don’t think of acknowledging the pleasure we get in our daily lives simply by what we see. We all look at the same things, but perhaps those who have made art their life’s work, see things differently. I encourage people to see the art around them, whether it’s a label on a can in the grocery store, the architecture of a fine building, an old master painting reproduced in a book or a piece of contemporary art in our midst. We should allow our eyes and minds to take large gulps, drink in all the art around us and appreciate the creativity of those who made it."
• Charles Randolph-Wright, native of York, S.C., has built a dynamic and diversified career in directing, writing, and producing for theatre, television, and film. Once a honors pre-medical graduate of Duke University, he turned to the arts after studying acting with the Royal Shakespeare Company in London and dance with the Alvin Ailey School in New York City. His recent directorial film debut, "ON THE ONE," recently swept the feature film prizes at the ninth annual American Black Film Festival. A selection of his other film credits include writing and producing "PAIXAO CRUA (RAW PASSION)," "SHADES OF GREY" for HBO, "THE EMMETT TILL STORY" for Showtime and "FOOL'S HILL" for Disney. Randolph-Wright’s play "BLUE," starring Phylicia Rashad, broke box office records at Arena Stage, the Roundabout Theatre in New York City, in Los Angeles and subsequently has had productions throughout the United States. His new play "CUTTIN' UP" premieres at Arena Stage this fall. On television, Randolph-Wright was producer and writer of Showtime’s acclaimed series LINC'S, directed the international Freestyle campaign for Nike, and most recently directed the new series South of Nowhere. Randolph-Wright serves on Duke University’s artistic board, the Writers’ Council of Arena Stage, and the Roundabout Theatre’s Board of Directors. Randolph-Wright is the chairman of the Wright Family Foundation of South Carolina, a not-for-profit created by several cousins to discover and recapture the heritage and history of African Americans in the South Carolina upstate, and to expand the unique and important global impact of the Wright Family on future generations.
Randolph-Wright said that as he watched in horror the crisis after Hurricane Katrina, he is reminded even more of the healing power of art. "I am proud to be in an occupation that uplifts and inspires, especially when people need it most. As the politicians continue on their futile battleground, a phoenix will rise in the form of art. I am grateful to Winthrop for this medal of honor which I dedicate to the women, men, and children whose stories have moved me."
• Born in Centralia, Mo., Walter Roberts studied music at numerous institutions, including the New York Institute of Musical Art and Chicago Musical College. He became head of piano and theory at Kansas State Teachers College, Fort Hayes, where he met his wife Georgina Wooton, then head of the art department. After requesting leave for World War I, he returned to Fort Hayes only to resign when the school ruled that husband and wife could not both be employed. He became dean of fine arts at Phillips College in Enid, Okla., and later taught in Los Angeles. David B. Johnson, founder and first president of Winthrop, brought Roberts to the college as head of music in 1925. Roberts, who remained chair for 38 years, established a master class in piano and voice which ran for 25 years and employed such teachers as Virgil Fox, the organist who gave a dedication concert of the Aeolian Skinner organ in 1955. He also brought a S.C. Music Festival to Winthrop, which over the years grew from 350 to 5,000 participants. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Missouri, a master’s degree in music from Columbia University and an honorary doctorate degree from the Birmingham Conservatory of Music. Roberts served as president and board member of the S.C. Music Educators Association and established the Rock Hill Choral Society.
• Georgina Wooton-Roberts was born in Auburn, Ind., and studied art at De Pauw University, Chicago Art Institute, and Church School of Art in Chicago. She established a career as professor of fine arts at Kansas State Teachers College in Fort Hays and later at California Christian College in Los Angeles. In 1923, Wooton-Roberts exhibited in a Tri-State Art exhibit which included Kansas. After winning second place, the newspaper described her as having "an originality and an utter abandon which gives her work a delightful dash of the technique of the art that enables her to transfer her mental pictures to canvas." Wooton-Roberts also exhibited at Los Angeles Museum of History, Science, and Art and was a member of the California Watercolor Society. She came with her husband to Rock Hill for him to work at Winthrop but could not be employed at the same college. In a speech delivered in 1983, Roberts gave credit to his wife, Georgina Wooton-Roberts by saying, "she gave up a very promising career as an artist and educator in the Midwest to aid me in so many ways, artistically and socially, in my work at Winthrop."
From Walter Hardin, grandson of the Roberts: "Appreciating the arts has always been central to the Hardin family. We all grew up in a world of music and art. We watched Grandfather teaching voice and piano and directing the choir at St. Johns UMC on Sundays. Each of us had drawing and wood block print lessons from Grandmother. One taught us to listen with our ears, while the other taught us to appreciate with our eyes.… We thought everyone was like that."
• Scott Shanklin-Peterson is an arts visionary and ally working on international, national and local levels to expand public awareness of the arts. Her work in the arts and arts education has advanced the area of policy at both the state and national levels.
Shanklin-Peterson’s service as executive director of the S.C. Arts Commission from 1980-1994 and as senior deputy chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1994 to 2001 made an impressionable impact upon the arts community by broadening arts excellence and opportunities. Her list of past board service includes the Board of Directors of the Southern Arts Federation, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and the American Council for the Arts. Currently, Shanklin-Peterson serves as director of the arts management program at the College of Charleston. Shanklin-Peterson has earned and received several prestigious awards, including the Elizabeth O’Neill Vernor Governor’s Individual Arts Award, the Order of the Palmetto, the highest award for leadership and public service that the state of South Carolina presents, and other awards from the National Art Education Association and the S.C. Arts Alliance. Shanklin-Peterson has a Bachelor of Art Degree in Visual Arts from Columbia College and graduated from Harvard University's Institute of Arts Administration.
From Shanklin-Peterson: "The arts and arts education reflect our cultural heritage, stimulate our imagination, and inspire creativity. The vital work of artists, arts organizations and arts educators in our communities brings diverse groups together to participate, experience the creative process, appreciate our diverse cultural heritage, and consider other perspectives.
"I feel truly fortunate to have been in arts management positions in the past that advanced the important roles of the arts and arts education in our society and today in a position to help young people develop the knowledge and skills to enter this rewarding career field."
Organizers of the Medal of Honor in the Arts will present the recipients with a hand-crafted medal created for the event, as well as present a scene from one of Randolph-Wright's plays directed by the new chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, Andrew Vorder Bruegge and a couple of dynamic modern dance pieces, one of which includes a visual art element. Choreographers are dance professors Sandra Neels and Mary Beth Young. The lineup also includes a recent award-winning flute composition created by music professor Ronald Keith Parks, and a performance by the Winthrop Jazz Voices. Each of the entertainment segments pays tribute to a recipient and the recipient’s love of art in order to highlight the talented students and faculty of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
Winthrop commissioned art professor Alfred Ward to design and produce the medals to present to the recipients. He joined Winthrop in 1989 and has since designed and produced silverware for the American Crafts Council, ceremonial maces for the University of Tennessee, Coastal Carolina and Winthrop. He also has designed brooch pins for the last 10 First Ladies of South Carolina.
Medal of Honor tickets are $50 per person. For ticket information, call 803/323-2323 or 803/323-2399.