Historic board created in Tucker County

PARSONS – Seven Tucker County residents were named Wednesday to the first county Culture District Board in the state of West Virginia.

Lynn Phillips, representing Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, announced the names of those selected by the governor to serve on the newly formed Tucker County Culture District Board. The announcements were made at the Tucker County Courthouse.

Those appointed to the board include Tucker County Commissioner Diane Hinkle, Robert Burns, Steve Haid, L.E. Herrick, Brad Moore, Tim Turner and Seth Pritt.

Hinkle is the development director for the Tucker Community Foundation and has experience in developing policy and procedures, grant writing, board development and networking.

Hinkle explained that about two years ago, folks met and had a dinner-time conversation about the growing number of artists, artisans and patrons of the performing arts that were not just settling in Tucker County, but also visiting the area.

She said the group put together a strategic plan to seek legislation that would empower, enhance and promote Tucker County as a center for the cultural arts. Sen. Bob Williams, D-Taylor, sponsored Senate Bill 561, and Sen. David Sypolt, R-Preston, co-sponsored the bill. The bill received support from Del. Randy Smith, R-Preston, and Del. Mary Poling, D-Barbour. The bill passed in April, establishing the Tucker County Cultural District Authority.

Hinkle said the authority’s goal is “the creation of additional employment and investment opportunities.”

Pitt, from Thomas, is a full-time artist. He is a board member of ArtSpring and co-owns White Room Art Gallery.

Turner, from Parsons, has a background in education. He has served on the Parsons City Council and currently is a member of the Tucker County Board of Education. Turner has an extensive collection of photos and local trivia.

Burns, of Parsons, is a direct descendent of Captain Parsons, the first settler in the area. He is the executive director of the Tucker Community Foundation and the former director of the Tucker County Development Authority. He has an extensive background in finance, grant writing and administration.

Herrick, of Dry Fork, is a former federal government program manager. Her background is in establishing organizational standard operating procedures and by-laws. She is a patron of the arts and an outdoor enthusiast.

Moore, of Thomas, is a life-long student of West Virginia History. He has a background in mining and a keen appreciation of the value of local stories and the need to have them recorded and documented.

The new members of the Tucker County Culture District Board met briefly Wednesday to get to know one another and to begin to make plans.