Daily Point of Light # 2991 Jul 22, 2005

Erin Lea Turner, 20 years old, is a Communication Arts major at Troy University. She actively demonstrates her sincere passion for the arts with a focus on meeting the educational needs of others. In 2003, Ms. Turner responded to a multi-million dollar budget-cut effecting Alabama’s community and educational arts programs by founding and leading ArtStart, Alabama. Ms. Turner’s ArtStart, Alabama website serves as a communication conduit. It gives schools an avenue to reveal their needs to the community as well as providing the community a positive way to intervene through volunteering time, supplies or services and secure continued successful students.

Ms. Turner’s professional service attitude combined with personally caring, sends a clear message regarding the importance of the arts in a diverse society. Through her performances in theatre, festivals and arts educational workshops and overseeing drama/vocal/dance students throughout the state, many young (and young-old) people, have met and developed healthy friendships in a respite from the stress and pressures of school, work and home. Ms. Turner’s belief that there is emotional satisfaction and logic by supporting the arts encourages the development of young artists who might otherwise never use their talent. These young people have been enriched intellectually and emotionally by what they have seen, heard and learned.

Ms. Turner’s ArtStart, Alabama program is individualized to meet the social and physical needs of diverse groups. She has devoted time with our special need communities in Hoover and Valley, Alabama and creates plans for their future arts interests. Erin puts her heart into volunteerism with her ArtStart, Alabama platform. Yet, with this busy schedule, she displays poise and balance throughout her lifestyle. Academically, she’s a Dean’s list scholar, while her spiritual needs are witnessed by her active on-going church support. Socially she actively participates with her university sorority and honors fraternity as well as her family and friends.

In our technology-oriented society, the arts are more necessary to the quality of our life than any other time in history. We are more hurried and hyper, there’s more crime and drug abuse revealing a desperate need for visual tranquility of a museum, rich sounds of music, or the dazzling sights of dancing. Ms. Turner demonstrates her passionate belief that the quality of life can be improved through the arts and she has a plan to do it.