Loudoun Arts Council Honors Arts Advocate Gale Waldron

The Loudoun Arts Council will honor long-time arts supporter and former board member Gale Waldron by re-naming its Excellence in the Arts program in her name. Waldron passed away on January 8th.

Gale Waldron’s service to the arts community through the LAC spanned several years. In addition to leading the arts council as president, she served on its board of directors and then on its advisory board. Current Vice-President Heather Valdez Stillings recalls: “Gale was a mentor, a source of guidance and comfort, and a generous friend. The gifts she offered, she offered freely: time, resources, contacts, advice, and connections. She always found time to offer me both constructive criticism and encouragement.”

After her time on the arts council, Waldron tirelessly gave her time to other arts organizations, including Gallery 222 and the Loudoun Academy of the Arts. also covered Loudoun’s artists in her journalism in Loudoun Art and other publications.

Stillings approached Waldron last fall about how the LAC could honor her years of dedication and service to the arts. “When I mentioned that maybe we could name one of the categories for Excellence in the Arts for her, her eyes lit up.” The planning committee, however, “suggested we honor her by renaming the entire program as the “Gale Waldron Excellence in the Arts Awards.” The LAC board of directors unanimously supported this idea.

The Gale Waldron Excellence in the Arts Awards is a program that awards prizes to artists in grades 10 through 12 for achievements in eight arts categories: visual arts, digital arts, dance, piano, literary, instrumental, voice, and theatre. Participants are judged by professionals in each field, and comments the judges are provided in order to help students advance in their artistic endeavors. First and second place winners will be awarded cash prizes of $500 and $250, with additional prizes or honorable mentions to be awarded at the judges’ discretion. The deadline for entering this year’s competition is March 5.

The LAC is currently raising funds for this year’s competition. Any business or organization wishing to sponsor or donate to the program should contact the LAC through their website www.loudounarts.org. The Loudoun Arts Council promotes the arts in Loudoun County by advocating for and assisting arts organizations and individual artists. The LAC operates as the interface between artists, organizations, and arts supporters by providing information, education, research, and communication to benefit the arts community as a whole.

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