WVU Parkersburg’s Arts Collaborative of the Mid-Ohio Valley was recently honored during the 2021 Community Colleges of Appalachia (CCA) Annual Awards virtual ceremony.

The Arts Collaborative received the Mark Ivester Innovation Award for designing and successfully implementing a program to improve the culture of the areas it serves. Dr. Ivester was the former North Georgia Technical College president and CCA Board of Directors Chair-Elect and is remembered for his legacy of leadership and putting student needs first.

Sponsored by the Ross Foundation, the Arts Collaborative is a community initiative to provide a wide representation of the Mid-Ohio Valley’s artists, music, theatre, history, art education, fine arts and cultural treasures and be a collaborative hub for its members.

“We believe that promoting a robust arts scene throughout our service area greatly enhances the quality of life for our students, employees and the community at large,” said WVU Parkersburg President Dr. Chris Gilmer. “We thank the Community Colleges of Appalachia for the honor of this award, named in memory of a true leader in the community college community, and we recommit ourselves to deserving it every day.”

Cities across the nation, including Parkersburg, have seen local revitalization due to art projects and creating community spaces for all peoples to enjoy. This includes murals, in-person and virtual performances and fostering accessibility and inclusion in the arts.

Current members of the Arts Collaborative are the Actors Guild of Parkersburg, Artsbridge, Discovery World, Downtown PKB, Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, Henderson Hall, Historic Smoot Theatre, Oil and Gas Museum, Parkersburg Art Center, Schrader Youth Ballet, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra of Parkersburg and Wood County Society and Artbeat Studio.

To stay up-to-date with the latest shows, exhibits, music and classes by visiting artsofthemov.wvup.edu or facebook.com/ArtsoftheMOV.

Established in 1961, West Virginia University at Parkersburg is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Academic credits earned at WVU Parkersburg are transferable to any institution in the West Virginia higher education state system as well as other accredited institutions throughout the country. WVU Parkersburg is the only public community college in West Virginia accredited to offer baccalaureate degrees.