If we look at the word “culture” from a technical narrative, it would summarize the totality of attitudes, customs and beliefs that distinguishes one group from another. Culture is transmitted from one generation to another through language, music, tradition and various forms of art. Art influences society by affecting the fundamental sense of self. Painting, sculpture, music, literature, food and other forms of expression becomes the repository of a society’s collective memory. The type of music you enjoy, the style of dancing that moves you, the books you read and the discerning eye you have for the fine arts, are all part of the culture you’ve absorbed since those 5 senses were activated at birth.
We’re all influenced by the multiplicity of cultural forms which, in the aggregate, constitute the melting-pot society we’ve grown to love. How much have you been influenced by the cultural arts? Did you even know that Flower Mound has a Cultural Arts Commission? They meet once a month at Town Hall and are charged with advising the Town Council and town staff on policies, services and programs related to cultural arts programs, art in public places and library services. Composed of 6 board members and 2 alternates, all appointed by the Town Council, they help to promote cultural activities, with an emphasis on music, fine arts, literature, drama and dance. You can learn more about this board with a click on: https://www.flower-mound.com/158/Cultural-Arts-Commission
I invited the Chairman of the Board, Ron Miller, to come over for an interview to talk about the work of the commission and to explain why it’s important to cultivate the appetite for the arts, with an accent on the performing arts. With an impressive background, which includes military experience in the US Air Force, rank of Captain, a bachelor of electrical engineering degree from General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan, plus an MBA from the University of Utah, Mr. Miller brings a wealth of educational experience to any endeavor. Ron retired 17 years ago, but he remains active in the community. The following is a short bio he sent to accompany the video interview.
“I grew up in Dallas, so this area has been my home most of my life (except for a short term of indentured servitude with GM in the Detroit and Lansing areas). My wife Janis is also a Dallasite. We married in 1968 and recently celebrated our 50th anniversary. We have 2 sons, Ryan and Scott. Ryan is happily single and living in downtown Dallas. Scott and his wife Mary live in Austin with our 2 grandchildren; Mia and Matthew. Janis and I moved to Flower Mound in 2000, as preparation for my subsequent retirement in 2002.
“We had both sung in a community chorus while in Michigan and could not find a similar one near here, so we started The Voices of Flower Mound in 2006. There were originally around a dozen of us, but, with the help of our highly accomplished current director, our roster is now up to 60 singers. We do 4 major public concerts each year … the July patriotic and December Christmas concerts being in collaboration with the Flower Mound Symphony Orchestra and the chancel choir from Trietsch.
“The Town Secretary’s office would have exact records, but if memory serves, in 2010, I originally applied and was appointed to what was then the Town’s PALS Board (Parks, Arts and Library Services), with particular interest in the Arts responsibilities of that Board. In addition to the normal duties of that Board, I served as vice chair for 3 of those years, and was also on their subcommittee to help prepare and recommend to Council a Master Plan for the Town’s Public Library. Groundbreaking for those resultant recommendations is scheduled to begin this spring. In Oct., 2014, I was appointed to the newly created Cultural Arts Commission, which later had Library responsibilities added. I have served as Chair of that Commission ever since.”