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Two Bisbee non-profits receive $5,000 grants

BISBEE — Thanks to the Arizona Commission on the Arts (ACA), two Bisbee non–profits were awarded $5,000 each in the recent round of grant awards.

The Bisbee Community Chorus (BCC) received grants from ACA before, but not in this amount.

“We’re still in shock,” said Deni Austin, president of BCC. “It’s more than we’ve received in years past.”

The funds also come at an opportune time as the BCC, now in its 31st year of operations, is trying to get younger people, local students and more members from Bisbee and nearby communities such as Double Adobe, Elfrida, Palominas and Hereford to join the chorus, Austin continued. And, there is the rising costs of music and insurance.

“Right now, we have three Bisbee students who come and sing with their grandparents, but we want to get more students involved,” she said. “We’d like to have five more so we can form an ensemble.”

Austin is talking with Bisbee Unified School District superintendent Tom Woody to see what help the BCC members might provide in keeping music part of the curriculum. They plan to form a committee to help provide music time for the fifth and sixth students at Greenway Elementary School.

“Music is vital to a rounded education. We understand the problems with limited funds the schools face,” noted Austin. “We want to do our part to keep music in the schools.”

Rehearsals will begin on Aug. 31.

Central School Project (CSP) was also a recipient of a $5,000 grant, and director Laurie McKenna is thrilled with the award of funds which will be used in support of the many programs and shows scheduled throughout the year.

These popular programs include the children’s MAKE and Plein Air Festivals, ReMake Exhibition, plays, movies and the showcase of interesting local, state and national artists. The outdoor movie coming up is a documentary on Jimi Hendrix, “Electric Church,” on Saturday, Aug. 24. The popular Altered Books show, a fundraiser for the Friends of the Copper Queen Library, will again be held there on Saturday, Aug. 31.

Currently, CSP is featuring artist Don Carlos, from Duncan, who turns trash and castoffs into unique slices of life. The show closes on Friday, July 26, with a party, McKenna said.

The ACA, whose members are appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey, awarded 260 grants worth over $2.63 million to organizations and programs throughout the state at their quarterly meeting on June 27. This action represents the allocation of 75 percent of the ACA’s annual grants budget, with several other grant programs running throughout the year, noted Steve Wilcox, ACA communications director.

“Review panels are composed of diverse community leaders, experts, educators and arts practitioners from rural, urban and suburban areas throughout Arizona. Panels are assembled to reflect diversity of race, geography, gender, age and expertise. This year, 30 percent of panelists engaged in the process hailed from rural Arizona communities,” Wilcox said.

He explained the process for award selections which are based on such criteria as community impact, quality of programming and fiscal responsibility.

According to Kristen Pierce Kent, ACA organizational grants and services manager, “This growth reflects a thriving, expanding statewide arts sector, as well as ACA efforts to simplify the grant process for smaller, volunteer-run organizations and make the process more accessible to organizations operating in rural and remote communities.”

For more information on the grant awards, visit the website at: https://azarts.gov/grant-news/fiscal-year-2020-grantees/.

For more information on the ACA, visit: www.azarts.gov.

New commander takes the reins at Fort Huachuca

FORT HUACHUCA — U.S. Army Major General Laura Potter quietly became the top soldier at the United States Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca, taking the reins from retiring Major General Robert Walters, Jr. during a ceremony early Friday morning.

An hour later, with all the pomp and circumstance inherent to the Change of Command ceremony, Walters bid farewell to the place where he has served since July 2017 and the troops marched in front of and saluted Potter, welcoming their new commander at Brown Parade Field.

“My family and I are thrilled to be part of Fort Huachuca,” Potter said Friday after the ceremony ended. “The mission here is so important.”

The mother of two sons, Potter elicited a laugh from the audience when she mentioned at the podium that she met her husband Randy Potter — a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel — in 1989 at Fort Huachuca at a soda machine at the base.

“I pressed the button for a diet soda, he handed it to me and the rest is history,” Potter said with a smile.

Potter thanked her Army superiors for entrusting her with Fort Huachuca. She also addressed the various troops that stood at attention on the field, telling them they looked “amazing” and “ready.”

Potter’s most recent assignments include Deputy Chief of Staff, Intelligence G2, U.S. Army Europe and the J2, U.S. European Command, Stuttgart, Germany.

Walters, who spoke before Potter, thanked various individuals in the audience, but most of all his family — Nancy, his wife of 38 years and his two daughters Martina and Daytona, whom he referred to as “our pride and greatest treasure.” He also said his five grandchildren were present, three of them teenagers and two of them three-year-old toddlers.

The outgoing major general, who is retiring and moving to Leavenworth, Kansas, spoke about the Army’s seven values — loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. When he touched on respect, he addressed his wife and talked about how she worked with soldiers’ families.

“She often did that without identifying herself,” Walters said.

U.S. Army Lt. General Michael D. Lundy, Commanding General, Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, hosted the ceremony.

“It’s great to be here,” Lundy said. “This is a very special post and a very special command.”

He lauded both Potter and Walters, calling them “two true intelligence professionals.”

“Bob, you have delivered in excellent fashion,” Lundy said to Walters. “The work you’ve done has set the path. You’ve been a phenomenal teammate and we’re going to miss you.”

To Potter, Lundy then said: “But there’s no one I trust more than Laura. It (Fort Huachuca) will be in phenomenal hands for the next two years.”

Walters agreed with that assessment. “I’m excited. I have a great major general coming in behind me.”


Jim Lewis, who is a Korean War veteran, talks about his life recently in his Sierra Vista home. ABOVE RIGHT: Marine veteran Jim Lewis promotes the appreciation of other vets by handing out “Thank You” cards.