Ohio Gov. John Kasich names Marietta man to arts council

MARIETTA — Marietta resident Bill White has been appointed by Gov. John Kasich to the Ohio Arts Council Board.

The board is composed of 15 members appointed by the governor and four non-voting members, two each from the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives.

The board is responsible for approval of funding requests and meets four times a year.

White is the CEO of Offenberger & White in Marietta and has served as a member and president for the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Foundation for Music Education.

As a practicing musician and songwriter, White said he is an advocate for the board.

“This board is so important in Marietta, a microcosm of many communities,” said White.  “There is a combination of creativity and an individual entrepreneurial type of art efforts throughout the community.”

Marshall Kimball, associate professor of music at Marietta College, recommended White to the board.

“He has been a band booster and a lifetime musician and has great business connections,” said Kimball.  “He is a person who is very driven.”

Kimball said White will serve as great voice for the local area on the board.

“He is a leader and he is willing to speak up for what he believes in especially when it comes to the arts and music,” he said.

After a series of interviews, White said he was finally appointed to the board.

The 68-year-old strongly believes in the significance of music education in the school systems.

“We can draw a straight line between arts advocacy and the arts in general through economic development,” said White. “Music education helps wire your brain and teaches us new things that also relate to subjects such as math and science.”

No matter if it’s local or statewide funding for the arts, White said it’s something that should always be included.

“It relates to the quality of life that we aspire to be,” said White. “The arts is a universal language.”

When it comes to his responsibilities on the board, White said he isn’t entirely sure, but assumes it will be consistent with communications.

White said he has a lot to learn before his first board meeting in January in Columbus.

“Between now and my first board meeting I have homework to do,” he said. “I will be reviewing the board minutes to see what they have been doing and the overall culture of the board.”

With a deep passion for music, White said he is  looking forward to serving on the board.

“Music is great therapy,” said White. “Art also transcends age, it’s not uncommon to see a rock and roll band from all walks of life and once they take the stage the only thing that matters is the music.”

According to White, the Peoples Bank Theatre is a good example for what the art council has done for the area.

Hunt Brawley, executive director for the theater, said the board has been instrumental to several of the theater’s projects.

“They were a lifeline to us when we were getting started,” he said. “While we were under restoration they supported us and provided us with two grants that have helped us develop the arts and entertainment in downtown Marietta.”

Brawley said he knows White and is excited to see him as a member on the board.

“We are thrilled to have him as a businessperson in the creative community,” he said.  “I think he is ideally suited to sit on the board.”