Charlsie Halliburton (2023)
Gail Robinson-Oturu (2022)
Dan Hanley (2021)
Susan Bryant & Billy Renkl (2019)
Ken & Melody Shipley (2018)
Mike Fink & Cindy Marsh (2017)
James Diehr (2016)
Jim Mann (2015)
Joe Filippo (2014)
Max Hochstetler (2013)
Beverly Parker (2012)
Ned & Jackie Crouch (2011)
Rubye Patch (2010)
Solie Fott (2009)
George & Sharon Mabry (2008)
Tom Thayer & John McDonald (2007)
Olen Bryant and Thomas Brumbaugh (2006)


Charlsie Halliburton, Dance Instructor and Arts Supporter (2023)

Charlsie Halliburton has made outstanding contributions to Clarksville’s artistic culture through her work in ballet and through her support for numerous creative organizations and activities.

From 1983 until her retirement in 2016, she taught classical ballet to hundreds of little girls, who benefitted not only from the skills they learned but also from the knowledge of dance she included in her lessons.

Ms. Halliburton served as chair of the Mid-Cumberland Arts League for a number of years and wrote grants to give every Montgomery County 4th grader an opportunity to attend performances by the Nashville Ballet and the Nashville Symphony. In addition to securing the funds to host these performances in Clarksville, she also made sure that students received additional hands-on experiences in art, music and theatre with Austin Peay State University faculty and students.

Ms. Halliburton has served as an officer on the boards of the APSU Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts, the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, the APSU Candlelight Ball, and the Clarksville Arts and Heritage Council and as a member of the Gateway Chamber Orchestra, YMCA, and Nashville Ballet boards of directors.

She and her husband, John, established the Tom Malone Memorial Endowed Art Scholarship, which currently has a balance of nearly $94,000.


Gail Robinson-Oturu, Vocalist and Austin Peay State University Professor Emeritus of Music (2022)

Dr. Gail Robinson-Oturu has a distinguished record in performance, education, scholarship, and service. Praised for her artistry, interpretation, and technique, her voice has been heard on local, national, and international stages.

A review of her performance with the London Symphony Orchestra noted, “She seemed more than an accomplished performer; she became an elemental force, primal yet infinitely refined. She held her audience rapt.”

She chaired Austin Peay State University’s music department from 2005 to 2009. Upon her arrival in Clarksville, Dr. Robinson-Oturu took on the task of rechartering the Clarksville Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity. She then designed a service project that won a national award for the chapter.

Dr. Robinson-Oturu’s leadership and support of the Clarksville Community Concert Association has been crucial throughout her years in Clarksville. In 2020, she was awarded Austin Peay’s Distinguished Faculty Award for Community Service.

Dr. Robinson-Oturu’s ongoing research on African-Americans in the mainstream of the classical arts began with her appointment as visiting scholar at Harvard University. Her biography of baritone Todd Duncan, who originated the role of Porgy in Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” has received national recognition. Her research on violinist and composer Clarence Cameron White inspired the historical marker erected by the state of Tennessee in his birthplace of Clarksville.

A native of Washington, D.C., Dr. Robinson-Oturu earned her bachelor’s degree and Master of Music Education from Howard University and her Doctor of Philosophy from New York University. She retired from Austin Peay State University in 2021 with the title of Professor Emerita.


Dan Hanley, Painter and Designer (2021)

Dan Hanley steadily applied his creative abilities over many years as a designer and builder of homes and residential communities. In recent years, he turned his full attention to his life-long interest in painting—an interest he had kept alive and active for some 40 years since he graduated college with a degree in art and business administration.

Hanley’s work is represented in many private and corporate collections. His paintings and home designs have received a number of professional awards. His original artworks have brought prices in excess of $20,000.

Hanley served on Clarksville’s Public Arts Commission and worked regularly in support of Customs House Museum. Following the devastating 1999 tornado that struck Clarksville, he served on the Mayor’s Recovery Task Force, chairing the Design Review Board and the Design Standards Development Committee.

His community contributions continued his family heritage, going back to his great grandfather’s emigration from Ireland to Clarksville in the late 1860s. His great grandfather, grandfather, father, and Dan Hanley himself have all left their mark on many of Clarksville’s architectural treasures.

Hanley lived what he called a “Tom Sawyer” boyhood in his parent’s home near the Cumberland River. He often drew from this background for his subjects, describing his paintings as representations of “… a neighborhood of ordinary folks, unaware that they were living extraordinary lives, in extraordinary times—unwittingly heroic in their struggles to provide for families and build a community, making themselves matter.”



Susan Bryant, Photographer (2019)

Susan, who retired last year after teaching photography at Austin Peay for 37 years, co-founded the Downtown Artists Co-op with Beverly Parker in 2001. She served as president of the organization for several terms and remained on the executive board throughout her membership. 

She served on the Roxy Regional Theatre’s Board of Directors for several terms and was active in organizing its annual Art Auction. She was involved in Rivers & Spires and Frolic on Franklin during the early years of each event. 

Her personal, creative work includes black & white gelatin silver prints, hand-colored gelatin silver prints, digital photographs, and in the last 10 years, the 19th century wet plate collodion process which yields glass negatives and positives, tintypes and ambrotypes.

Susan’s work has been included in over 100 juried and invitational group exhibits and 28 solo exhibits across the United States. Bryant has won many state and national awards, fellowships, and grants; and her work has been published in several journals and is included in numerous public and private collections.

Billy Renkl, Artist (2019)

Billy Renkl co-chairs the Montgomery County Public Art Committee, which is planning how best to spend the money generated by the County’s Percent for Art program to improve the look of the community.

He has been on the faculty at Austin Peay State University since 1989; his teaching assignment is broad, but focuses on advanced drawing and beginning illustration.

Renkl recently collaborated with his sister Margaret, using collages to illustrate her book, Late Migrations, released this summer to much critical acclaim. 

Renkl first began to employ collage in 1985. These works were the basis for an exhibition at The Nexus Contemporary Art Center in Atlanta, followed by exhibitions in Tuscaloosa, Lexington, and Auburn. 

A half-year residency in Basle, Switzerland in 1993 allowed him to concentrate solely on collage, and resulted in exhibitions in Birmingham, Ala., and Berlin, Germany. Collage has been the foundation for his work since then.

Renkl has had solo or two-person exhibitions at Vanderbilt University, Berea College, The Tennessee Arts Commission Gallery, The Indianapolis Arts Center, Manifest Creative Research Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio, and The Jule Collins Smith Museum at Auburn University. He has recently had exhibitions in Nashville, and in Oxford, Miss. 

Renkl has been included in more than 50 juried and invitational group exhibitions, in venues such as The Tang Museum at Skidmore College in New York state, and The Jeffrey Leder Gallery in New York City.


Ken & Melody Shipley, Ceramicists (2018)

Ceramicists Ken and Melody Shipley believe strongly in the healing power of the arts, and they regularly put that belief into practice.

Their work has been exhibited regionally, nationally, and internationally; however, Ken counts his most important work to date a project called “10,000 Bowls.”

He, along with Melody, has donated his time and skill to make hundreds of bowls first for Empty Bowls of Clarksville, and then for Manna Café and the APSU Food Pantry. They want to help the homeless and raise homelessness awareness locally with hopes to expand regionally and beyond.

Melody recently received a national award for her work, with Ken, with a special community art project, “Honoring 9/11 through Art and Art Therapy.”

Through that program, veterans, their families and community members affected by the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, created works of art honoring and remembering their family members. These works were displayed at Austin Peay’s Woodward Library and the Robert F. Sink Memorial Library on post.

While proud of their community contributions, the Shipleys receive accolades for the artistic merit of their work.

Their pieces are in numerous collections including the Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, China; Arrowmont School of Art and Crafts, Gatlinburg; and AIR-Vallauris, Vallauris, France. They have taught numerous workshops locally and regionally, including courses every summer at John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, N.C.


Mike Fink, Graphic Designer, and Cindy Marsh, Director of the Goldsmith Press at APSU (2017)

Separately and in collaboration, Cindy Marsh and Mike Fink have contributed to the artistic and social well-being of this community.

Mike has designed brand identities, publications, posters, packaging, exhibitions and websites for clients in music, arts and education for nearly 40 years.

But before he discovered his love for graphic design, Mike was drafted out of high school by the Chicago Cubs and spent two years in their minor league system.

When his baseball career ended, Mike moved to Los Angeles, earned a degree in graphic design and developed relationships with various music companies and art organizations. He has produced literally thousands of cd and album covers.

Among his clients are the Getty Center, Universal Music Group, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney, William Morrow, Rock the Vote and T-Mobile.

In 2014, he took on the task of designing and preparing for production AHDC’s art-alphabet book, C Is for Clarksville. Cindy had juried the work local artists had submitted for the book.

Posters and books Cindy has designed and printed on handmade paper using vintages presses have been exhibited locally, regionally, and nationally in galleries from Massachusetts to New York to California and across Tennessee.

Cindy and her students have used a press she salvaged, restored and named the Goldsmith Press in honor of late librarian Arthur Goldsmith for numerous social causes.

Local projects Cindy has produced include a flag quilt created from essays by Montgomery County veterans with PTSD; printed tiles of community narratives remembering 9/11; and a National Endowment for the Arts program to empower teens through writing and printing autobiographical posters and T-shirts.

In 2009 Cindy won the Clarksville Chamber of Commerce – APSU Community Service Award for her community work with the Goldsmith Press.


James Diehr, Sculptor and Austin Peay State University Professor Emeritus of Art (2016)

Dr. James Diehr has been a Fulbright Scholar at Nottingham University in England, a guest professor in Lin Fin University in China, head of product design at Pittsburg State University, chair of the APSU department of art and later dean of the APSU College of Arts and Letters, with a stint as director of the Center of Excellence in the Creative Arts.

His art has been shown locally, regionally and nationally with work in juried shows in Missouri, Indiana, North Carolina and Tennessee. One of his sculptures graces the entrance to Austin Peay and his art belongs in numerous private and corporate collections.

But Jim is proudest of his work as a teacher and his contributions to his students’ knowledge, skills and success. He keeps in touch with many of the hundreds of students he has taught during his 44 years as an educator and he is proud of their accomplishments.

Jim’s training is in both pottery and sculpture. He built the pottery program at Austin Peay, and in retirement he has been able to indulge his creative impulses as a sculptor. He has been producing multimedia pieces, working in Colorado alabaster, ceramic figures, and wood—maple, walnut and elm—from his Cunningham farm, Long Thunder.

And because a lifetime of achieving will not end with this awards ceremony, Jim still works in his studio every day. He will install a show of 30 pieces of sculpture at the Nashville International Airport during the months of June, July and August 2017.


Jim Mann, Retired CEO of First Federal Savings Bank and Founding Member of AHDC (2015)

JimMannJim Mann grew up in a household surrounded by the arts: As an adolescent and young adult, he took piano lessons, played in school bands, acted in school plays, toured art galleries and began collecting limited edition prints.

He began working at First Federal Savings and Loan, now First Advantage Bank, in 1973, and rose to CEO in 1981. When he joined First Federal, it had assets of $36 million; its assets had reached $200 million by the time he retired.

His philosophy as CEO was that since a company would normally pay dividends to stockholders, First Federal should consider the community its stockholders and should pay dividends to the community.

“If we made a profit of $1 million, then we put $100,000 into the community,” Mann explains. First Federal and its employees contributed generously to community organizations such as United Way, Salvation Army, American Cancer Society, Red Cross, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Armed Services, and YMCA.

Art auctions have been a large part of community fundraisers. Mann always made a point of buying art at these fundraisers both for First Federal and for himself as an individual.

His support of the arts through purchases from individual artists augmented his support of arts organizations. He became an active supporter of the Roxy Regional Theatre, both as a benefactor and as an actor, fielding roles in a number of Roxy productions over the years.

He was also a founding member of the Clarksville/Montgomery County Arts and Heritage Development Council, served on the board of directors of Clarksville Community Concerts for 25 years, most of the time as treasurer, and participated in the Hilldale Kiwanis summer theatre program.

He is currently working through the Kiwanis Club on a program to bring community arts organizations together to combine their talents and strengthen the role of the arts in community-building.


Joe Filippo, Austin Peay State University Professor Emeritus of Speech and Theatre (2014)

JoeFilippoWhen Joe Filippo came to Austin Peay in 1968 as assistant professor and chair of the department of speech and theatre, the department had three faculty members. When he left the chairmanship in 1985, the department had grown to 16 faculty with added programs in radio, video, journalism, public relations and interpersonal communication.

He has worked closely with students, directing them in a variety of productions, from medieval morality plays to classical 18th century productions to modern dramas. His students have gone on to successful careers in theatre and film, and many will tell you they owe their success to “Doc” as they affectionately call him.

In addition to directing more than 30 student productions for AP Playhouse, Filippo’s work has entertained Clarksville audiences through the Hilldale Kiwanis Summer Theatre fundraisers in the 1970s, CenterStage summer productions in the 1980s and the AP New Play Festivals in the 1990s.

Filippo has been active in professional theatre organizations, holding a number of offices in the Tennessee Theatre Association and the Southeastern Theatre Association, including serving as president of both of these organizations. He received the Suzanne B. Davis Lifetime Achievement Award in Theatre at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Atlanta in 2007.

Other honors accorded Filippo include a post-doctoral fellowship to Yale University awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Distinguished Service Award by the Tennessee Theatre Association, and APSU Distinguished Professor.

Recently he has combined his knowledge of theatre with his interest in history as he helped to write and directed the Montgomery County Historical Society’s “Greenwood Cemetery Portrayals” and “Dinner with the Lively Dead.”

Filippo continues to contribute to Clarksville’s arts and heritage community through service on the boards of the Center of Excellence in the Creative Arts’ Roy Acuff Circle, the Arts and Heritage Development Council, and the Montgomery County Historical Society.


Max Hochstetler, Painter and Austin Peay State University Professor Emeritus of Art (2013)

Max Hochstetler’s paintings can be found in numerous public places including university, museum, bank, municipal and corporate collections. Hochstetler’s public art commissions include a series of murals depicting the history of APSU in the Sundquist Building; two wall paintings for The Nashville Network and Country Music Television, Gaylord Enterprises, which are now are in the collection of The Country Music Hall of Fame; three paintings and two wall murals for Opryland Hotel in Nashville; a large wall painting of Clarksville Public Square for Northern Bank in Clarksville; five wall paintings of Cheatham County for Ashland City Bank which now hang in the Cheatham County Courthouse; and four lobby tapestries for First American Bank in Nashville.

Among the public institutions whose collections include Hochstetler’s work are the Tennessee State Museum, Nashville Airport Authority, Customs House Museum and Cultural Center, Vanderbilt University, Spaulding Hall Collection in Bardstown, Kentucky; Galesburg, Illinois, Civic Art Center; and Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts.

Hochstetler holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Southern Illinois University. He joined the Austin Peay faculty in 1967, served as chair of the department of art from 1989 to 1993 and was awarded emeritus status in 1999. He was an exchange artist at the Christoph Merian Foundation at Basel, Switzerland, a signature artist and board member of the Tennessee Watercolor Society, and past-president of the Nashville Artist Guild.


Beverly Parker, Photographic Artist and Co-Founder of Downtown Artists Co-op (2012)

Beverly Parker has been integrally involved in promoting Clarksville and Montgomery County through her art and through her efforts on behalf of other local artists for more than 20 years. Beverly’s photography has explored this county through conventional and alternative lenses, turning everyday scenes into eye-catching images. She continues to work on her trade through reading, traveling, and visiting museums and galleries. She is not afraid to experiment and has recently produced unique images of the county using an old technology in a new way — manipulated Polaroid photographs.

Beverly is a co-founder of the Downtown Artists Co-op, which has grown from an upstart space over the Front Page Deli into an attractive storefront on Franklin Street. DAC is one of the principal sponsors of First Thursday ArtWalk, an event where a parking space is at a premium for the folks who flock downtown to enjoy art, good food, and conversation. DAC sponsors a featured artist each First Thursday in addition to hosting school exhibits, Riverfest senior adult exhibits and at least once a year, a regional art exposition with entries from around the state.

For many years, Beverly taught advanced darkroom and alternative photography processes at Austin Peay State University through the Community School of the Arts.

Fifteen years ago she took on the chairmanship of the Riverfest Art Exhibit. She says this position is one of the most rewarding she’s ever been a part of. The exhibit has grown from an adult division only to a burgeoning high school division and adult senior division. The adult and high school juried shows regularly accept more than 100 entries.

Beverly earned a bachelor’s degree from Austin Peay and a master of liberal arts degree from Vanderbilt University. She is married to attorney Douglas Parker and has three children, William, Elizabeth, and John.


Ned & Jackie Crouch, Folk Art Preservers (2011)

Ned and Jackie Crouch understand the value of art and history in interpreting, enriching, and guiding our personal and collective lives. Their contributions to artistic life in Clarksville are legion. From teaching children to create and appreciate art to preserving and promoting local art through work with Customs House Museum, the Crouches have positively influenced cultural life in this city.

They helped raise millions of dollars to build a major annex to the Customs House Museum to allow it to showcase work by regional and national artists, spearheaded reconstruction of Customs House after it took a direct hit by an F3 tornado, and have been a major force behind acquiring and restoring some of Clarksville’s most popular public art. In 1992 for the grand opening of the expanded Customs House Museum, the Crouches put together an exhibit from their extensive collection along with borrowed pieces, “Treasures In Tennessee.” It included memorabilia of presidents from Tennessee along with paintings by Tennessee-associated artists from Andrew-Jackson portrait painter Ralph E. W. Earl to Red Grooms.

Throughout their careers they have exhibited a strong interest in preserving and promoting the work of regional folk artists. Both Ned and Jackie have brought the work of local folk artist Herbert Baggett to the attention of national folk art collectors. In 1982 Ned restored four pieces by Palmyra sculptor Enoch Tanner Wickham for inclusion in the American Folk-Life Center of the Knoxville World’s Fair. Ned’s work in preserving, restoring, and cataloging Wickham’s art began in the early 1970s when he restored a number of pieces now on exhibit in the Trahern Fine Arts Building of Austin Peay State University. He received a $40,000 NEA grant to put together a year-long exhibit of “E.T. Wickham: A Dream Unguarded” in 2001 at the Customs House Museum.

The Crouches have shared their personal collection of folk art with museums throughout the state, consulted with authors writing about Tennessee artists, set up exhibits in Nashville museums, and worked with numerous folk art collectors in Middle Tennessee. Ned and Jacqueline have consulted with museums across the state, including preparing and installing an exhibit on Reelfoot Lake at the Arts Center of Cannon County and analyzing collections for the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center to determine what materials would work for exhibits over the next several years to bring a wider range of history and art to the East Tennessee region.

When the Crouches were notified that they had been selected to receive this award, they responded that it was too soon — they have plans for many more projects to preserve, promote, and showcase the work of Tennessee artists, past and present. We look forward to the fruition of those projects, but we believe the Crouches’ tireless work in promoting the arts deserves recognition now.


Rubye Patch, Playwright/Actor/Producer (2010)

In his nomination for Rubye Patch, Montgomery County Historical Society president, Dr. Joe Filippo, wrote, “A lifelong citizen of Clarksville, Ms. Patch has distinguished herself many times over as a general supporter of the arts, in addition to her myriad sterling efforts as an actress, writer, and coordinator of major artistic events in Montgomery County.

“As a general supporter of the arts, Ms. Patch has graciously sacrificed her time and energy, of which there is much, to assist various entities within the county in their endeavors to expand their artistic and cultural horizons.

“As an actress over the years, Ms. Patch has been called upon many times to play roles for the good of the community. This she has done with uncanny skill and panache. Whether she is seen as Lucy Williams, or as one of the raucous, ‘sinful’ members coming before the Presbyterian Session, or as the red-headed hussy who is always ‘ready’ for a new experience, Ms. Patch is sure to bring a breath of fresh air to theatre art.

“Just as creative are Ms. Patch’s artistic and historical scenes, which have been enacted through the Montgomery County Historical Society’s popular ‘Dinner with the Dead,’ in addition to their inspirational and educational ‘Cemetery Tours.’ Her persistent efforts as a playwright have given life to many historical Clarksville figures to the delight of countless contemporary Clarksvillians. From Steve Inlow Wylie to William Robert Bringhurst to Dr. Charles R. Cooper, she has told stories from the past that bring richness and value to present-day audiences.

“Some people, by their very nature, serve as magnets for others. Ms. Patch helps coordinate artistic activities for the community; still, she firmly remains ‘one of us.’ She avoids the limelight when possible; yet, her own light shines brightly for others to see. She is a special artist, loved by her community and appreciated for her talent by all who know her. She is to be congratulated for her many artistic accomplishments.”


Solie Fott, Studio Musician (2009)

Dr. Solie Fott played as a studio musician in Nashville in recording work and television performances between 1960 and 1980. In those 20 years he played in between 2,000 and 3,000 sessions, including almost all of Patsy Cline’s string sessions and Johnny Cash’s television shows. He also worked with Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Eddie Arnold in recording sessions. Before that he was a violinist with the Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville symphony orchestras from 1943 to 1960.

In 1958, Dr. Fott joined the Austin Peay music faculty and was selected as its chairman in 1978. He was a major force in the establishment of APSU’s Center for Excellence in the Creative Arts in 1985. Dr. Fott represented the music department in the design of a $9.4 million music and mass communication building and supervised the complicated move of delicate instruments and faculty offices to the new building in 1986.

He served as president of the Tennessee Chapter of the American String Teachers Association in 1967 and the Tennessee Music Education Association from 1984 to 1986. He currently serves as vice president of the Tennessee Arts Academy Board and was vice president of Tennesseans for the Arts and a board member of the Tennessee Alliance for Arts Education.

In 2001, Dr. Fott was awarded the Tennessee Arts Academy Lorin Hollander Award in recognition of his distinguished career in music education. In 2008 Tennessee music teachers selected him to receive the Tennessee Music Education Association Hall of Fame Award.


George Mabry, Composer, and Sharon Mabry, Mezzo-Soprano (2008)

GeorgeSharonMabryDr. George Mabry has been the director of the Nashville Symphony Chorus since 1998 and is professor emeritus of music at Austin Peay State University. He served as director of its Center for the Creative Arts and director of choral activities at the university until his retirement in 2003.

In addition to his choral and instrumental compositions, he has written and produced musical shows for entertainment parks around the country. He was formerly director of entertainment for Opryland U.S.A. in Nashville. While at Opryland, his musical shows toured the Soviet Union under the auspices of the U.S. State Department and appeared three times for the President of the United States at the White House.

Dr. Sharon Mabry, mezzo-soprano, began her teaching career at Austin Peay State University in 1970. As artistic coordinator of the Dimensions New Music Series since its inception in 1980, she has brought more than 60 composers to the campus for lectures, performances, and master classes benefiting students and the community at large.

Her seven LP and CD recordings have received outstanding critical acclaim and have been aired on FM stations internationally. She has established a distinguished career as a recitalist, master teacher of vocal techniques, soloist with symphony orchestras, and has performed at international music festivals, premiering the works of over thirty composers.

Oxford University Press published her book, Exploring Twentieth Century Vocal Music: A Practical Guide to Performance and Repertoire in 2002. Reviewers have called the book “elegantly written, persuasive, eminently readable and informative.”


Tom Thayer & John McDonald, Founders and Directors of Roxy Regional Theatre (2007)

Tom Thayer, managing director of the Roxy Regional Theatre, has held this position with the theatre since its inception in 1983. He is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. While living in New York, he worked as a public relations liaison for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, created and taught dance programs at the Dwight School and created and taught young dramatics for the Rhodes School. He is founder of the Clarksville Theatre Guild. He has performed off-Broadway as well as throughout the South. He currently serves as a guest instructor at Austin Peay State University and directs as well as instructs the musical theatre series.

John McDonald, artistic director of the Roxy Regional Theatre, has also been with the theatre since 1983. He is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, under a full scholarship from ABC Broadcasting. He has taught for the American Academy, The Rhodes School, The Dwight School and the Hewitt School. Performance credits include Broadway, The Long Wharf Theatre, New York Shakespeare Festival, The WPA Theatre and many more. As a playwright he authored Till We Meet Again, The Noble Heart, The Dunbar Cave Dance of 1938, Mr. Dorian Grey Sir and many more. He has received the Ingram Acting Fellowship as well as Outstanding Playwright Award.

Together, in 1983, they opened the Roxy Regional Theatre producing over 200 productions in their 18-year history. They also created the Roxy’s Professional Company, which, through selected productions in school curriculum, has reached thousands of school-aged children. In the summer, they both serve as directors of the Summer Drama Camp, sponsored in conjunction with the Clarksville-Montgomery County Parks and Recreation Department.


Olen Bryant, Sculptor and Educator, and Thomas Brumbaugh, Art Historian and Educator (2006)

Clarksville sculptor and educator Olen Bryant received the state’s top honor for artists, the Distinguished Artist Award, in March, 2007. That same year Customs House Museum and Cultural Center hosted Olen Bryant: A Retrospective. Featuring 200 works borrowed from galleries and private collections, the exhibit opened September 15 to a record crowd.

While his sculptures have received regional and national praise, Bryant is also a master teacher. The Professor Emeritus at Austin Peay State University has mentored many students who now are major forces in regional arts circles. “He profoundly affected so many people,” says Amy Andersen, curator of collections and exhibits for Customs House. “We had over 600 people at his opening. People came from out of state just to see Olen.”

Byant holds a master of fine arts from Cranbrook Academy of Art and has studied extensively in the USA and abroad. He is a founding member of the Tennessee Association of Craft Artists.

Art historian and educator Dr. Thomas Brendle Brumbaugh spent most of his career as a professor of fine arts at Vanderbilt University and has published many articles on American painting, sculpture, and architecture. He was co-editor of Architecture of Middle Tennessee: The Historic American Buildings Survey and co-author of The Art of Gerald Brockhurst. Brumbaugh published several articles on Abbott Handerson Thayer and donated his research on Thayer and other artists to the Smithsonian Archives of American Art. He also donated a sizeable collection of documents with Pennsylvania governors’ signatures to the Allison Antrim Museum in his hometown of Greencastle, Pennsylvania.