William P. Simmons Art Scholarship Fund
Supporting Talent — A Wise Investment
“In her nearly 30 years of work as a professional artist and art educator, Denise Massey reflects back on how her career dream nearly slipped away in college. It was 1985 and Denise had been working part-time to pay for school. The pay she received not only made up the difference in tuition paid by the Pell Grant, it helped with books and supplies. That year, she was laid off due to budget cuts. Without adequate funds, Denise’s graduation was at risk. But she was encouraged to apply for the new William P. Simmons Art Scholarship being awarded to a rising junior or senior majoring in Art. She applied and received the scholarship, which made it possible for her to complete her senior year.
Following graduation, Denise opted to remain in Macon and give back to the community. An internship at the Museum of Arts and Sciences led to the position of the Museum’s Assistant Curator of Art. Over a 20-year period she served in other capacities there, including Curator of Art Education. Today, she is an art education consultant who originates and teaches afterschool programs, camps, and art workshops for local schools and organizations.
CFCG staff first met Denise when they visited the Tubman Museum’s After School Arts Education Program at Brookdale Elementary to surprise them with a CFCG Community Grant. Denise was leading a program in visual arts for the children in the after school program, and she shared her story of receiving the first William P. Simmons Art Scholarship, which is now administered by CFCG.
Denise’s career as a professional art educator has been impressive, and her contributions vast. Denise has served on state museum association boards, reviewed grant applications, and she has presented at professional conferences at a national level. The investment in Denise’s art education by the William P. Simmons Art Scholarship was a wise one—one that has been giving back to the art community in Macon for nearly 30 years.
“I will always be grateful for the William P. Simmons Art Scholarship because it allowed me to begin on a path that I have enjoyed for decades now– bringing the joy of art to adults and children,” said Denise Massey