The "Athens Rotary Club Community Service Award" is given to an Athens community member who exemplifies fellowship and the ideals of Rotary as interpreted by the Rotary Motto "service above self".  The 2015 Award was presented to Patty Mitchell by President Mario Grijalva at the Holiday Party on Dec. 7, 2015.
 
Patty Mitchell is an artist and social entrepreneur specializing in collaborations between artists with and without developmental disabilities. Her dream is to turn institutional and community settings into creative art-making spaces.
 
Patty Mitchell is the co-author (with Susan Dlouhy) of “Upcycling Sheltered Workshops” subtitled A Revolutionary approach to Transforming Workshops into Creative Spaces, Ohio University Press (Spring 2015) and her work is featured in the WOUB/PBS documentary  “Creative Abundance” (Spring 2015) -- a new film in the Courage of Creativity collection.
 
As they work through the art process, the participant’s talents and passions become evident and form the core of program design. Creativity and enthusiasm are the tools for developing a new culture and lifting expectations for what is possible. Sewing, woodworking, painting, photography, sculpture, giant puppetry, repurposed materials, and innovative approaches become public artworks/spectacle.
 
Ms. Mitchell has received a Distinguished Alumna Award from Ohio University’s College of Fine Arts; a “Tremendous Attainment” award from the Senate of the State of Ohio; an Ohioana Citation for Art and Education; an Individual Artist Award from the Ohio Arts Council; a Citizen of the Year Award from Civitan; a Eusebia Hunkins Award for Outstanding Service in the Arts; the Keystone Award from Ohio University for outstanding community service; and the Bryant True Local Hero award.
 
Patty received her BFA and MFA from Ohio University’s Fine Art Photography program, is the CEO of The Creative Abundance Group and a founding member of Honey for the Heart.
 
Patty has actively participated in bringing the community together through the arts.  This includes relationships between the schools, Ohio University faculty and students, community members, artist groups and members of those with disabilities to create and celebrate all that is Athens.  The month of October is a celebration of the arts, laughter, joy which culminates in the Honey for the Heart Parade.
 
Patty continues to examine and consider how to expand these activities in our community and possibly include summer camp programs.
 
Information Source:  Secretary Andrea Reik
Photo by:  Club Photographer Don Fucci