Radford Early Learning Center receives artwork and grant
Mr. Dick Harshberger, member of the board of directors of Radford Child Development, Inc. and his wife, Ms. Kathleen Harshberger, continue their work with Mr. Gary Gillespie Israel to secure the legacy of artist Dorothy Gillespie in Radford. In a small ceremony on Friday September 10, Israel presented Ms. Gillespie’s “Earth Ribbon” for installation at the Radford Early Learning Center.
Mr. Israel, Mrs. Gillespie’s son and President of the Dorothy M. Gillespie Foundation, explained the donation as a testament to his mother’s strong values in the power of education. “As Professor Emeritus of Art at Radford University, my mother taught seminars and offered advice on the passion and business of art. She has also worked regularly alongside students, producing art and organizing events and projects.
The Dorothy M. Gillespie Foundation will continue to support arts education at the Radford Early Learning Center through an annual grant of $ 500 and the donation of Dorothy Gillespie paper sculpture kits developed at Roanoke College in partnership with the Foundation. These kits will allow teachers at the Center to encourage the artistic development of young children and allow them to make the connection between their own creations and the newly installed Gillespie’s work.
“We are grateful to Dick and Kathleen who continue to be the biggest supporters of education and the arts in our community,” said Dr. Agida Manizade, RCD Board Chair. Mr. Israel reiterated these sentiments: “I want to thank Dick and Kathleen Harshberger for being my good friends and great supporters of my efforts to preserve my mother’s legacy in Radford and across the country. They were instrumental in the success of my mother’s 2020 centenary celebration in Radford.
Mr Israel continued: “Radford and the University of Radford were very important to my mother and a very big part of my mother’s legacy. With over 90 works of art spanning six decades, RU is home to the largest and most comprehensive collection of my mother’s work. Her association with Radford University began in the 1960s when she donated one of her pieces to Radford College on extended loan. Over the years, she continued to donate art to Radford University and was instrumental in securing gifts from other artists for an ever-growing university collection.
Ms. Gillespie, a pioneer of women in the arts, has had a career spanning more than 70 years as an activist, speaker and mentor to creative women around the world. Working in mediums as diverse as metal, canvas and paper, she has distinguished herself as one of the preeminent artists of our time. His work has been exhibited in prestigious museums such as the Guggenheim, as well as in innovative private galleries and collected by art lovers around the world.
The 501 (c) (3) Radford Child Development is a fully managed and run organization by volunteers. It was started nine years ago with a mission to bring a high quality child care and early childhood education center to the Radford area. The result of this initiative is the Radford Early Learning Center, currently operated by KinderCare Learning Centers under contract with RCD, Inc. RELC is a Grade 3 Virginia grade facility and accredited by the National Association for Early Childhood Education.
The RCD provides support to the teachers of the RELC as well as to families in need. If you would like to donate to Radford Child Development, a non-profit, tax-deductible 501 (c) (3) donation is accepted through their website, www.radfordchilddevelopment.org. You can also sign up for the Kroger Community Rewards and Amazon Smile programs. These companies will then donate a percentage of the sales to the RCD.