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Spirit of Grace Award

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Monmouth College art professor Stephanie Baugh is this year’s recipient of the Spirit of Grace award, which is presented by the Buchanan Center for the Arts in downtown Monmouth.

"I am grateful to the BCA because, as a member of this community, my life is enriched by the BCA‘s work; moreover, I am grateful that I have been able to contribute to the work of the BCA through the ways that align with my strengths," said Baugh.

“I am glad to contribute to the BCA because I believe in the value of art, and I know the many ways that art can support and enhance the lives of individuals and the life of a community,” said Baugh, who joined the Buchanan Center board in 2020.

Each year, at the Buchanan Center’s Taste of the Arts gala, the center’s board of directors and staff recognize a member of the community who exemplifies the spirit of Grace Buchanan, whose estate founded the center in 1989. The recipient is a servant-leader, supports and promotes the arts in a variety of ways, and serves as an ambassador for the arts in the community.

“I’m keenly aware of the essential function of organizations in bringing vibrancy and opportunity to a community, and I’m proud to be part of that,” said Baugh. "And perhaps that function isn’t always as obvious. While art-making and art-teaching are key facets of my life’s work, giving to the community, as I have been able to, is only possible because of the openness, generosity, and welcoming spirit of the BCA.”

Baugh was described at the gala as having “a harmonious blend of creativity, pragmatism and responsibility,” as well as being “a leader, mentor, educator, artist and collaborator – a servant leader on and off the college campus who recognizes the significance of town and gown community relationships.”

"The award celebrates Baugh and her nationally recognized award-winning artwork, and all she has done to move the Buchanan Center for the Arts’ mission forward through her artistic talents and thoughtful measures as a board member. Grace lived her life authentically through the arts and believed the arts are for everyone. (Stephanie) surpasses the qualifications. She’s a strategic planner who sees the big picture as well as the importance of the small details that shouldn’t be overlooked," said BCA Executive Director Kristyne Gilbert.

Baugh, who also serves the College as associate dean of academic initiatives, completed her undergraduate education at the University of Montevallo in Alabama. She holds a master of education degree from the University of Georgia and a master of fine arts degree from Goddard College in Vermont.

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