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Patron of the Arts: Sheila Mullen

By Joanne Spataro
Special to the Observer

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  • Want to go?

    “Palette to Palette” takes place 7-10 p.m. Dec. 7 at the McColl Center, 721 N. Tryon St.

    Cost: $25 for members; $35 for nonmembers

    Details: Contact Sarah Lewkowitz at sarah@mccollcenter.org



Sheila Mullen uses her 25 years of business experience to further the goals of Charlotte’s art community. Since June she has devoted five to10 hours a week as vice chair of the McColl Center for Visual Art board of directors. The 25 members of this diverse board use their business savvy to help the McColl Center achieve its goals. Mullen is looking forward to the Center’s annual Palette to Palette event in December, where guests mingle with artists in a cocktail party setting.

Theater buff: When Mullen was a child, her mother took her to the theater instead of the movies. Her favorite show was “Les Misérables.” She was “in awe of peoples’ resilience” as portrayed in the musical.

Where business meets art: Mullen learned how to think more like an artist instead of a business person at the Innovation Institute, a McColl Center program of artist-led classes that teach corporate-minded professionals how to tap into their creativity. “Not only are they (the artist teachers) creating beauty and culture in our community, but they are changing the way we do business,” she said.

Diverse points of view: The McColl Center board is not a cookie-cutter experience. “This group of people really debates and gets in conversation with each other,” she said. “I never walk out of a board meeting thinking it was a waste of time. It’s a really diverse collection of people who don’t see everything the same way, so they challenge each other.” Joanne Spataro

What’s your favorite arts group? Should we feature you or someone you know as a patron of the arts? Tell us why. Email living@charlotteobserver.com. Put patron in subject line.

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