Darlene McLellan wins 2013 Chamber Community Service Award

Jul 02, 2013

If you have ever been involved in the arts, Edmonds Arts Festival, or the City of Edmonds arts then you probably know Darlene McLellan.

Because of her outstanding volunteerism and community dedication, Darlene was selected over nearly 100 other nominees for the 2013 Chamber Community Service Award.

McLellan grew up in Edmonds and after studying and living in Japan she returned with her husband and children to Edmonds in 1985.  She soon began volunteering in a variety of community cultural endeavors.

She was one of the first members of the Sister City Committee, before it became a City Commission, and has continued to be engaged in the Sister City relationship with Hekinan over the years including the organization of the first art collection exchange between the two cities.

McLellan is a graphic designer and needle arts artist and also helped create the Sister City commemorative quilt.

McLellan’s long-term involvement in the Edmonds Arts Festival began with setting the paintings, prints and drawing exhibits in 1986.

In 1989 she became of member of the Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation (EAFF) while also continuing to work on the Festival.

She was involved in the EAFF Public Art donations to the City of Edmonds and in partnering with the City Arts Commission to fund and create the first Community Cultural Plan.

EAFF and EAF later collaborated through her efforts on the City sponsored annual Evening of the Arts downtown art walk.

She served as EAFF board President from 2000-2002 and is currently serving again as President.  In 2003 she was instrumental in the creation of ArtWorks, working with EAF, EAFF and the City of Edmonds to establish this vital gathering place for artists.

In 1996 she was appointed to a four-year term on the City of Edmonds Arts Commission, siting artwork in the new City Hall, working in an advisory role on Brackett’s Landing South Park, and becoming Chair in 1999.

In 2000 she was a member of the delegation to Hekinan.

While not occupied with these primary volunteer activities McLellan found time to work on the capital campaign for the Edmonds Center for the Arts, arrange for EAFF to commission custom chandeliers for the ECA stairwells, serve on the 2007-8 City of Edmonds Park Plan update Citizen Advisory Committee, and the 2009 City of Edmonds 4th Avenue Cultural Corridor Advisory Committee.

She is an original member of the Chamber Arts & Culture Committee and designed the award certificate.  She put her graphic and literary skills to work creating a history book for the EAF 50th anniversary in 2008, and despite all of her volunteer work Darlene still manages to create her own fiber art!

She says: ”I love working with artists young and old and all the people who love the art around them. It all comes together in this beautiful town that has been the home I always return to since I was five.”

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