Central Coast Center for Arts Education (CCCAE) announced new endowments to honor two women for their dedication to arts education in San Luis Obispo and around the country.

CCCAE presented the endowments on behalf of June King McFee and Bernice Loughran Nickelson to create additional funding for artists in all public schools in the county.

“This endowment will provide for future teachers,” Nickelson said. “The excitement of art is what we try to open their minds to.”

Both women have contributed their support for the arts in San Luis Obispo County for over two decades. They were classmates at Stanford University and eventually began to work together again through the CCCAE at Cal Poly.

McFee has devoted her time for promotion of art education in the local community. Previously, she founded the department of art education at the University of Oregon where she taught before retiring to the Central Coast.

Currently, McFee is an editorial board member for the “Journal of Multicultural and Cross Cultural Art Education” and an advisory board member for CCCAE.

Nickelson is a professor emeritus at Cal Poly and established the art and design department. She served as department chair from 1969 to 1975 and was also the co-director of integrated arts in the classroom.

Nickelson has also impacted other departments at Cal Poly, including the humanities department.

Her work with the engineering department created a human values class, which helped to create the liberal studies department at Cal Poly, according to Susan Duffy, the CCCAE director.

The liberal studies department founded CCCAE in 2004 as a recognized center at Cal Poly. Liberal studies students work as interns with CCCAE in the community and attend art education workshops set up by the center free of charge.

The endowments must reach the minimum amount of funding set forth by Cal Poly to have their interest be used for campus-based projects in the community. CCCAE expects to begin using the endowments in the county within two years.

Recent CCCAE projects include an art education program for children in low income housing in Santa Maria, a California Arts Council project for art in the classroom in three local school districts, and a performing arts education grant.

“I am quite overwhelmed with (the endowment),” said McFee.

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