Incredibly passionate, supportive and generous, arts education volunteer Martha “Muffie” Miller, was recently nominated for and chosen to receive the annual “Be the Difference” award by the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County. This award recognizes the top 50 individuals, businesses and organizations in the county who demonstrate impact in the community through their volunteerism.
And Muffie’s impact has been significant in arts education. A retired teacher, Muffie uses her time to devote to arts education through our volunteer program. A member of the Arts Education Committee and co-manager of the Traveling Youth Art Exhibitions, Muffie and fellow volunteer Kimberly DeLucia have been overseeing the fundraising, coordination and logistics of youth art installations at venues around the county since 2018. “It gives me a great deal of pride and pleasure to help bring an awareness and appreciation of youth art into the community.” says Muffie.
Her work with the youth art exhibits highlights the importance of arts education, bringing recognition to students and awareness of the impact the arts can have on the youth in our community. “Having artwork publicly displayed provides such great joy and pride for the youth selected, and beautifies and uplifts folks that get to view it in unlikely places!” says Arts Education Director Sarah Brothers. “Whether interviewing new potential SPECTRA teaching artists, advising on program needs and assessment, setting goals and priorities, visiting programs in action, or hanging youth art shows around the county, Muffie has been absolutely invaluable in the success of our programs!”
Receiving the “Be the Difference” award Muffie says is appreciated. To be recognized for her contributions not only by the Arts Council but also by the larger community feels rewarding. Muffie plans to continue her volunteer work in arts education, or as she calls it, “a labor of love,” for the foreseeable future. Our community is incredibly lucky to have such a supportive and generous volunteer for the youth in our county - no one is more deserving of this award. Congrats Muffie!