I just read your front page article (May 12, 2009) on Access Arts and was profoundly saddened to see the omission of Naoma Powell's name.
For many years Access Arts and Naoma Powell have been synonymous. It was Naoma who originally conceived of the notion that those who are fully abled and those with physical, emotional or financial challenges have much to learn from one another.
It was Naoma who founded Access Arts and served as the unpaid executive director as well as teacher for twenty-two years.
It was she who had the vision to expand the campus from a basement space to three buildings. In fact, Naoma donated her family home and much of her meager social security income to Access Arts.
Naoma was relentless in her mission to bring quality arts instruction to all, and is beloved to many in Columbia. She now resides at Lenoir Maplewood Apartments and is visited frequently by former students and faculty.