Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s Michelle VanHuss was sworn in Monday night to the Centerville Arts Commission.
VanHuss is the Director of Touring and University Initiatives at DCDC, working regularly with our three university partners, Central State University, University of Dayton, and Wright State University. One reason VanHuss and her husband, Will, chose to make Centerville home was because of the community’s support for the arts, she said. She has taken her two daughters, ages 3 and 6, to free concerts and art exhibits sponsored by the commission. “I grew up dancing,” VanHuss said. “But all of the arts are important. Something about different art forms speaks to different individuals. It’s great that the Centerville Arts Commission is able to support free opportunities for people to engage with the arts.” The Centerville Arts Commission is a 15-member volunteer organization dedicated to involving citizens with visual and performing arts. Members are appointed by the City Council. As she is on the road with DCDC, VanHuss hopes to also cross paths with artists who can bring fresh talent and perspectives to Centerville. VanHuss earned her bachelor’s degree in fine arts and her teaching certification from the New World School of the Arts, and she completed her master’s degree in public administration at Wright State University. She has been active in arts advocacy at the local, state and national levels. “Right now arts are being put under the microscope,” she said. “Children should be exposed to art — whether it deepens understanding of a subject matter or creates a space for personal expression, being involved in art creates a sense of community. t’s not better or worse than anything else, but it needs to be included because if it speaks to you, it speaks loudly. Art is a lifeline sometimes.” DCDC Artistic Director Debbie Blunden-Diggs is excited to see VanHuss join the commission. “She’ll do marvelous job,” Blunden-Diggs said. “All the things she brings to the table for DCDC she will bring to arts commission.”