Saline Leadership Donates Art Scholarship in Memory of Taylor Jacobsen
Two of Saline's most respected organizations are partnering to honor one of Saline's most beloved citizens by helping the less fortunate with a scholarship for art or enrichment activities.
Thursday, the Saline Leadership Institute presented Saline Area Social Service with a check to fund the scholarship in honor of Taylor Jacobsen, the longtime art educator who taught at Saline High School and in Saline Community Education.
"What that means is families with children who are unable to participate in after-school activities will have some much-needed support," said Anne Cummings, executive director of Saline Area Social Service, a local non-profit which helps lower-income residents with a food pantry and other aid. "This scholarship specifically will be dedicated towards art projects and supplies and art classes - in the name of Taylor Jacobsen."
Among the many ways in which he dedicated his time, Jacobsen taught an art class in the Saline Leadership Insitute and also volunteered with Saline Area Social Service.
Cheryl Girvan is a facilitator and planning team member for the Saline Leadership Institute, which helps local residents develop skills to grow professionally and personally. Girvan also works with Saline Area Social Service. The scholarship was Girvan's idea.
"We were talking about the sadness we felt with Taylor's passing and we wanted to think of ways to honor his memory. Because I'm involved in the Saline Leadership Institute and SASS, I was thinking of something that would bridge the two organizations. And so I thought, why not a scholarship?" Girvan said. "Saline Area Social Service helps residents in so many ways. They have programs for food, for eyeglasses and to help people pay for music. But there wasn't really anything designated for the arts. So this seemed like a good idea."
The Saline Coalition for a Quality Community matched the SLI's fundraising to seed the fund. Now, other artists in the community are talking about ways to support the scholarship.
About 20 people attended the scholarship presentation Thursday at the 109 Cultural Exchange in downtown Saline. Two of the guests were Taylor's sons, Einor and Arn.
Einor Jacobsen said he appreciated the gesture and thought it was fitting.
"Dad came home from Saline Leadership Institute activities talking about how excited he was. And he was always dedicated to the mission of Saline Area Social Service. And his passion was teaching art. So this scholarship really ties all these great things together," Einor Jacobsen said.
Guests included Saline Area Schools Community Relations manager Anna Britnell, Community Education Director Brian Puffer, SLI director Diane Mukkala, interim library director Karrie Waarala, representatives from Saline Area Social Service and several artists. Guests talked about their connection to Taylor Jacobsen.
Those wanting to help fund the scholarship can donate to Saline Area Social Service.