Summers recognized for her continued efforts with cultural facilities


TAYLOR COUNTY—Delegate Amy Summers is a woman on a mission to help further the county and makes it a better place for residents and guests. Recently, her work garnered recognition from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History (WVDACH).

During a presentation on March 1 by the WVDACH and the West Virginia Commission on Arts, Summers was presented with one of 21 honors.

The event boasted Governor’s Arts Awards, as well as Legislative Leadership Awards. Summers was a recipient in the latter category.

Two honors were doled out in each of the following categories: Arts in Education, Community Arts, Cultural Facilities, Folk Arts and Lifetime Achievement.

Nominations were made for each category, and a panel of members from the West Virginia Commission of Arts and WVDACH staffers got to work evaluating the contributions made by each individual.

“Winners were selected based on the magnitude of their contributions and achievements, the range the individuals or groups served, the length of time and intensity of their dedication to the arts and their level of excellence,” said Curator Randall Reid-Smith. 

Because of her continued work to increase the arts and leave a lasting contribution for the community, Delegate Summers received a Legislative Leadership Award in the Cultural Facilities category. 

“I was honored to receive this esteemed award,” voiced Summers.

Summers revealed that she had been working alongside Reid-Smith to help secure needed funding for two local historic buildings.

“He has attended some of our First Fridays as my guest, and toured building that needed work,” she explained. “He then aided me in securing funding for the Taylor County Arts Council’s Gallery 62 West, as well as the Taylor County Historical and Genealogical Society’s historic M&M Bank Building.”

She revealed that currently, her and Reid-Smith are also in the process of trying to procure needed monies for a building located on the state capitol grounds called Holly Grove, that was built in 1815. However, time has not been kind to the building, that is now in disrepair.

“I have also pushed for restoration projects at the capitol, as I saw the building was being neglected,” Summers disclosed.

One of the areas of concern that she attempted to address were the restrooms in the facility.

“I pushed for remodeling, not only because they were an embarrassment when the public attended events or visited, but there were issues with ADA compliance,” Summers voiced.

Noting that historic buildings are crucial to telling the story of the past, Summers has plans to continue to push for repairs and revitalization of some key facilities both locally and in Charleston.

“Slowly but surely, we are getting back on track with the maintenance that has been deferred for decades,” she expressed. “To me, these are state treasures that need protected for all West Virginians.”

Reid-Smith voiced his gratitude for Delegate Summers and her efforts saying, “I am so grateful for your continuous and constant support of all the programs at the Department of Arts, Education and History. You are the best! I would like to come to Grafton again and tour your district when you have time.”

For more information about the WVDACH, please visit www.wvculture.org.

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