Bryant, executive director of the
"I hope that the community understands and appreciates how much work she does behind the scenes, and every time you go see a museum exhibit or a classical concert or a theatrical production at the Globe or the Playhouse or wherever, Carla had a hand in it somehow,"
Bryant, who came on board the council in 1996, said she "knew" it was time to retire.
"It's bittersweet in a way, I've enjoyed every minute of it, but I just know that it's time," Bryant said. "One of my main goals was to retire when people said they were still sorry to see me go instead of saying thank goodness."
Bryant said about
"The grants have come a tremendous way. We have a standardized form, we do a grant committee, a grading system and evaluation process," Bryant said.
The council has changed the grant system, making it "equitable" for any organization that applies, including those that aren't nonprofits, Bryant said.
The red and metallic sculptures that went up
Bryant said the council has focused attention to the public arts and would like
"We don't want to have a reputation for being unattractive but a place that's nice to be and that is part of the arts too; it's to have things look good," Bryant said. "We're also focusing and branching out some with grants for the Hot Summer Nights, public arts and the literary arts."
Stanley said she knew Bryant before she joined the board because she was always present in
Stanley said despite the city not having a prominent arts base, Bryant continued to help any arts organization that came to her, taking special care to support the newer and smaller organizations.
"She's always very optimistic. Sometimes when you live in a region where art is not a very popular thing you can get discouraged, but I never saw it affect her," Stanley said. "She always had a very positive attitude about things."
"She helps select the music -- get the right band, get the right performers -- that concert series really has Carla's fingerprints all over it. It's incredibly successful," Ham said.
Ham, who has known Bryant since he was a student at the
When Ham approached Bryant for help on the program, she taught him how to plan a budget, where to go for funding, how the council could and wouldn't be able to help and how to write the grants.
"She really helped facilitate this from inception to execution, which is above and beyond administering a grant that I applied for," Ham said. "She was really instrumental in helping me get it off the ground."
"It's amazing to me that she's done it and it's a little daunting because I get to do it, but I've got a good teacher," Ham said. "She's really helped enrich the lives of all of
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