Anne Hill

Community member honored -- Anne Hill, center, is a Friend of McLeod Summer Playhouse and a staunch supporter of the arts, both at the University and in the community. Recently, SIUC and Carbondale Community Arts teamed up to present her with a plaque recognizing her devotion to the arts. Shown here with her are, left, J. Thomas Kidd, acting chair of the SIUC Department of Theater, and Nancy Stemper, executive director of Carbondale Community Arts. (Photo provided) Download Photo Here

August 16, 2010

Anne Hill honored for dedication to the arts

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Anne M. Hill is dedicated to art. If you don’t know it from her tireless efforts in the community, or if you haven’t read it on her aqua blue T-shirt, you can read it in the inscription on a special plaque of recognition that now hangs in her living room.

McLeod Summer Playhouse at Southern Illinois University Carbondale joined with Carbondale Community Arts to present Hill with the plaque this summer in recognition of her support of and dedication to the arts.

Hill came to Carbondale in 1979 when she took at job in office systems and computer affairs at SIUC. She retired from SIUC in 1981, and immediately set upon completing a master’s degree in English at SIUC. During that time, she wrote a manual for word processing and taught technical writing.

Hill is active in many University and community organizations, including he American Association of University Women and the John Thomas Strings Program. She is also a Friend of the McLeod Summer Playhouse and a member of the Board of Friends of WSIU.

“I learned to love music and theater through my family,” she said. “My grandfather, who immigrated to America from Germany in 1870, played the oboe and trombone in an orchestra. My mother loved the theater, and would often talk about the Theater Guild productions in New York City. That passion rubbed off. What you learn as a child is so important to what you do as an adult. If your are surrounded by theater, literature and music, you take it in and use it.”

She has seen many changes in the Carbondale art scene since her arrival in 1979. She notes particularly achievements by SIUC Department of Theater and the School of Music, the McLeod
Summer Playhouse, Public Broadcasting Stations, and Carbondale Community Arts.

“(These organizations) are a great investment,” she said, “because you can see them constantly getting better.” She applauds SIUC for integrating art, as well as sports, into college life through the Fine Arts Activity Fee.

She is also proud of her involvement with Carbondale Community Arts, particularly the All Southern High School Theater Project, which is jointly produced each summer with McLeod Summer Playhouse.

“It’s a wonderful training program,” she said. “It has developed a core of young professionals who got their start with the project. Connecting young people to the arts is so important. I’m happy to participate to the extent I am capable of in developing new
young audiences and performers.”

Hill plans to continue being dedicated to the arts and wearing her inspirational aqua-blue T-shirt. If you want to know where to get one, just stop her when you see her, and ask.