#WhyIGive | Heather & Ben Arnold

on September 16, 2015

On our first #WhyIGive Wednesday, longtime P.S. ARTS supporter (and former staff member) Heather Myrick Arnold shares why she and her husband, Ben, invested in the future of public school arts education with a gift to the P.S. ARTS Endowment.

A message from Heather Myrick Arnold . . .

I started working for P.S. ARTS as an intern in 2005, and I stayed with P.S. ARTS for two years in the Development Office before becoming a high school dance teacher. During my tenure as P.S. ARTS’ Events Manager, my husband Ben graciously volunteered at events and helped the way all significant others of non-profit professionals do — however he was “VolunTOLD” to. Of course, he was happy to serve the mission of P.S. ARTS however he could!

PSARTSExpressYourself2014-_EKL4759

My connection to P.S. ARTS’ mission was not only forged by my work with the organization, but by my passion for dance as well. Dance was something that I grew up doing, and I was lucky enough to have a thriving dance program at my high school. The dance program not only gave me technical training, but also creative experiences and a place to belong in high school. As a dancer, I know first-hand the value of an arts education, and as an educator, I have the privilege of experiencing the profound impact it has on students’ lives each and every day.

In 2011, I took a sabbatical from teaching to go back to graduate school and work at P.S. ARTS once again. It was such a gift to be able to work with the P.S. ARTS staff again! During this time, Ben continued to volunteer at events, but also got his company, Giant Media, involved with supporting P.S. ARTS by forming a team to complete the LA Big 5k on the organization’s behalf.

IMG_7315

As my second time working at the P.S. ARTS office came to a close and I was ready to return to my dance classroom, Ben and I felt it would be meaningful to donate to the P.S. ARTS Endowment as a gesture of gratitude to P.S. ARTS for providing me with (multiple) career opportunities, for providing Ben with a way of building team moral and purpose in his office, and for advancing P.S. ARTS’ mission to provide a comprehensive arts education to students in California’s most underserved schools. We wanted to give a sustainable gift to an organization that is doing such important work. Arts education is not a luxury; it is essential.

We look forward to continuing to support P.S. ARTS!

#InvestInInnovation at psarts.org/endowment

P.S. ARTS#WhyIGive | Heather & Ben Arnold