Java Kitrick “Miss Puffin:” Arts Partner
“To be able to live an artful life is a wonderful part of America.”
Java Kitrick arrived in Columbus 30 years ago on People’s Express from New York to visit her best friend whom she met at NYU in 1968—and she never left town. Kitrick’s passion for making a difference brought to Columbus the Puffin Foundation whose mission is to open the doors of artistic expression by providing grants to artists and art organizations that are often excluded from mainstream opportunities due to race, gender or social philosophy. Some notable projects championed by Kitrick include the founding and support of community radio station WCRS, the 2004 installation of Alfred Tibor’s Celebration of Life sculpture honoring Columbus’ founders at the Broad Street Bridge, support of the Columbus Jewish Film Festival, and support of art workshops for disadvantaged children at Hubbard School and Central Community House.
For more information: puffinwest.org
Alex Bandar: Emerging Arts Leader
“We are a community workshop. We help people do four things: Design their ideas, build their ideas, show their ideas, and then sell their ideas.”
Alex Bandar, a PhD engineer felt the desire to be a part of the arts and technology community in Columbus. A metallurgist by day, Bandar spent his evenings and weekends as a tenant at the Milo Arts Community where he founded the Steampunk Laboratory. Bandar opened the Columbus Idea Foundry in 2008. Through hard work and his own personal funding, the Foundry has expanded into a 20,000 square foot warehouse space where anyone is welcome to come and learn welding, CNC machining, laser cutting, 3D printing, silk screening, soldering, programming, photography, jewelry making and so much more. The Idea Foundry also offers free classes to teach interns during their time at the shop. Bandar has partnered with several arts collectives in Columbus including Wonderland, Junctionview Studios, Couchfire Collective, CloudHaus, Phoenix Rising, Igloo Letterpress, Mother Artists at Work, Cap City Creatives offering space at the shop for events and more.
Bettye Stull: Arts Educator
“I’ve believe it’s important we teach our young people about the arts, in particularly, about African American artists and African art….something that wasn’t taught to us in schools.”
In 1956 at nearly 20 years old, Bettye Stull went to work as an arts specialist and later an administrative coordinator for the Columbus Recreation & Parks Department. She worked frequently with children, overseeing programs at several community recreation centers over three decades. Stull retired from Recreation & Parks in 1986, but went back to work almost immediately, administering a youth program at Broad Street Presbyterian Church preparing youth for jobs and bringing in speakers to help them with self-esteem.
In 1987, Stull began work for the King Arts Complex when it opened, creating educational and cultural programs such as the Junior Docent Program and the seasonal academies where young people were offered an opportunity to meet and talk directly with guest artists. Several youth have frequently returned, even after going away to college, to keep Stull posted about successes in school, citing her guidance in giving them confidence in public speaking and about how proud they were to say they owned original art. Stull is best remembered for her creative and artistic programs at Sawyer, Beatty and Barack Recreation Centers along with the hundreds of lives she has impacted.