Debbie Jones, NSU webmaster and the all-around go-to woman for all things web, recently had an essay published in the National Endowment for the Arts 50th Anniversary section of its website. People from around the country submitted entries. Jones says she was trying to make a decision about a long-term project . . . to discontinue it or move on. “At the same time, I received the National Endowment of the Arts invitation to ‘share my story’ and I decided I would do just that. When you read the article, it becomes clear why. I’d been struggling with the, ‘do I quit or continue on’ issue and I realized that what we write, or create — comes from the heart and as long as I can move pen to paper or around a digital screen, I can make my voice heard through writing, art or multimedia,” said Jones.
Her story, titled My Art Story, reads in part: Long ago my grandmother sat me down and gave me pencil and paper to draw with. She felt it would help quiet my spirit. I began drawing the wildlife around me, the homes, the people. Then later, I began writing about them. When the Internet started growing in the early 1990s, it was my thirst for networking and getting my art seen that drove me to it. I would never have known then that my creative nature would spur me on into web development and design so that a decade later, I’d be working my way up from a senior web developer to an IT manager.
The NEA’s 50th Anniversary page will continue to post stories from people around the country through September 2016. You can view Jones’ story and at http://arts.gov/50th/stories. Check out other stories in Virginia and other states to learn how the arts have inspired individuals and communities across the country.
Congratulations! Debbie Jones.