Marion Giant arts have spawned brilliant musical, visual and performing artists over the many years. The arts are vitally important and add to our students creativity, expression, and excellence that apply to their day-to-day lives.
F. Ritchie Walton was a longtime music teacher at Marion High School. He was known for creating a desire in the hearts of his students to pursue the arts as a connection with the community.
Walton was very disciplined, supportive and appreciative. He had high expectations and praised his students for their work. Walton developed arts in the Grant County Area with his sold-out, professional grade performances. The F. Ritchie Walton Performing Arts Center was built because Walton was able to show the community what could be done in the area of the arts. Ritchie loved all of the arts! This is fund is designed to benefit Marion High School Arts and give a prestigious scholarship yearly.
In honor of F. Ritchie Walton David Rees, Jeff Thorne, Delaine Highly, Sheila Todd and others started an endowment in his name in 2002. Through creative ways with other Walton protégées that raised over $10K giving out annual scholarships to students pursuing a career in the arts.
In 2018 the Marion High School Alumni Association started a MHSAA Arts Endowment to benefit all arts at Marion High School. Alumni, Ferne Gregg donated $40,000.00 to kick off the endowment. The Alumni association kept building the endowment to over $90K.
In 2021 in a joint effort with The Grant County Community Foundation, The Walton Endowment merged with the MHSAA Arts Endowment to form one powerful endowment. The MHSAA F. Ritchie Walton Endowment of the Arts to continue the tradition of enhancing our Marion Giant Arts programs and projects and they are now all better for it.
WHY AN ENDOWMENT?
With 70% of our kids on free and reduced lunch, it will become less and less likely for our kids to have the ability to afford a musical instrument, costumes, or things affiliated with the arts. Marion Community Schools can be in control of our own destiny to strengthen our Arts Program through endowment.
HOW IT WILL WORK:
The Arts Department will submit grant requests to the Marion’s Alumni Association. The Alumni Association will use their finance committee and board members to help allocate the monies for arts. This would have a check and balance for not only the Alumni Association, but also the Community Foundation of Grant County, in a transparent transaction making the community, our school system, and our alumni proud of this system. The Alumni Association will report the success to the Alumni and the School Board. If we don’t need to spend all of the money during a calendar year, it continues to grow in our endowment.
Equipment, instruments, uniforms, supplies, travel, guest artists, and any and all things that enhance our Marion Giant Arts. The F. Ritchie Walton Auditorium is one of our greatest assets at Marion Community Schools, and this endowment will keep this asset first-class.
Marion has spawned successful Broadway stars, professional dancers, designers, technicians, photographers, writers, graphic designers, visual artists, teachers etc … but the discipline, creativity, and passion the arts has instilled in the thousands of students that have been through our system apply to their everyday lives. To secure, strengthen, and preserve our Giant Arts Program we ask that you help build this endowment so others now, and well into the future, can benefit from your goodwill.