My Life at the MACC
The Office of the Director
MACC’s Fairy Godmother Magically Fixes Fairy Garden Wall
By Michelle Michaud
As the Mountain Arts Community Center (MACC) prepared to install its Mini-metropolis last month, it became apparent the location was in need of some TLC. Enter MACC’s fairy godmother and board member, Judy Nowlin.
“We needed to make it a safe and attractive location for all the hard work that has gone into this project,” said Nowlin, a beautifully gray haired fairy with an engaging smile.
The raised bed on the Kentucky side of MACC’s building was falling down. After a lifetime of children using its stone walls as a balance beam or a place to rest, the mountain stone was showing its age, cracking and crumbling, but still smiling from years of usefulness. And now, with the raised bed’s new purpose of a community fairy garden (also known as MACC’s Mini-Metropolis) on the horizon, Judy felt like it deserved a facelift.
“I reached out to our volunteers and Kenny and Ruth Feagan, long time Signal residents and stone mason business owners. Kenny worked with me to get the walled garden area fixed for only the cost of the materials. Through their generosity, we were able to make the site safe and attractive for town residents to view,” Judy said.
Judy Nowlin is one of those people that shies away from limelight. In fact, getting her to agree to do a story about how she helped the MACC was tenuous at best. “To know Judy is to love her. She always greets you with a big smile and a warm heart. As a board member, she has been so active, so inspiring. And she brings ‘Cookie Lady’ cookies for board members each time we meet,” said Barb Storm, executive director of the MACC.
Judy has been a treasured MACC board member for only two years. And even though she works full time as a physician’s group practice manager, she still finds time to volunteer countless hours to MACC’s various projects.
“When approached by a work colleague about considering a Board Position at MACC, I felt that it would a wonderful opportunity to help develop this growing town resource. I wanted to help this town resource enable our adults and children an opportunity to attend classes, camps, free music presentations as well as assist Sandy McRea and the dedicated MACC Board with their work,” she said.
“Like last weekend, she wore boots and jeans at the MACC Hoe Down in the Town at Town Hall. She came straight from work, and stood on her feet all night serving popcorn and drinks to dancers never once complaining,” said Storm
It’s hard to find good people like Judy, said Barb. “I don’t know what we’d do without her. She takes initiative and gets things done. Like the stone wall for the MACC Mini-metropolis. She didn’t ask if it needed to be done; she emptied her pockets and paid for its repair without a single word.”
“It is my dream that every family and citizen on Signal becomes familiar with The MACC’s opportunities for entertainment and personal growth. I hope that each Signal Mountain resident will have a personal experience in this wonderful space. With the free concerts as well as festivals along with the range of classes and camps, MACC has something to offer everyone,” said Judy.
Always thinking about someone else she added, “I am especially proud of our new effort called “MACC KIDS” where MACC has partnered with the Signal Mountain Social Services. This program allows donations to Signal Mountain Social Services, marked for “MACC KIDS,” to provide classes and camps for Signal Mountain poverty level children,” she said.
Nowlin is a long-time resident of Signal Mountain. All three of her children attended school at the Signal Mountain Elementary, now called the MACC. She is vested in its success. And the Town of Signal Mountain is lucky to have her as its special friend.