PURCELLVILLE, Va., January 28, 2021 — The Purcellville Arts Council unanimously selected Elizabeth Bracey, Managing Director of the Franklin Park Visual and Performing Arts Center, as the recipient of the third annual Jim “Doc” Wiley Leadership in the Arts Award. During the January 26, 2021 Town Council meeting, Mayor Fraser presented the award to Ms. Bracey.
“Elizabeth is dedicated to bringing visual and performing arts to people who live in and visit Purcellville—from local talent to national artists and performers,” said Mayor Fraser. “Elizabeth organized the hugely successful Bob Ross exhibit giving Purcellville prominent national recognition in 2019. When faced with the challenges of 2020, she continued to give local artists opportunities to be featured and bring joy to those looking for a cultural experience through Facebook live features and in-person events that follow all of the safety protocols.”
In her remarks after receiving the award, Ms. Bracey said that she had known Jim Wiley since she was a young girl and that “He left a wonderful legacy and it is so meaningful to me to be recognized for my work in his memory.” She went on to say, “The past year has shown us all how essential the performing and visual arts are in our daily lives, our community, our nation. Despite quarantines, isolations, social distancing and shut downs, the Arts continue to keep us connected to one another. The shared experiences, even through computer screens, have brought joy and laughter when we needed it the most. Recently, I heard someone say that “creativity is the first vaccine against COIVD.” It struck me that this thought sums up the past year for me personally and professionally.”
The Purcellville Arts Council initiated the annual Jim “Doc” Wiley Leadership in the Arts award in 2018 to recognize outstanding, sustained contributions to the arts and culture in the greater Purcellville community by an individual or organization. This award is named for Dr. James Wiley, beloved family dentist, former Town Council member, and long-time supporter of art and artists in Purcellville. The Purcellville Arts Council will soon be seeking nominations for this year’s Jim “Doc” Wiley Leadership in the Arts award.