Homer Hickam Fights to Keep State Funded Arts Programs Alive


Homer Hickam of the Rocket Boys made a return to McDowell County on Tuesday March 21, 2017, to share his story of success with students at Mount View Middle School. 

The former NASA trainer and New York Times best selling author discussed the importance of finding a passion and applying a plan to it.

“The kids who are raised here in McDowell County are stronger than they realize they are,” Hickam said. “They can carry their strengths out to the rest of the world and whatever it is they want to do.”

But Hickam said he had another duty to fulfill during his visit home. He was in Charleston Monday March 20, 2017, to sway the governor and delegates from cutting state funded arts programs this legislative session.

Hickam told 59News the elimination of organizations like Theatre West Virginia would be devastating. 

“I think that we should always leave room in the budget for the type of arts and humanities that ends up training people to give them a better life,” Hickam said.

“We just wanted to legislators to know that it’s important for West Virginia to have the cultural history that the arts bring to West Virginia,” Scott Hill, Theatre West Virginia director, added.

The impact of arts in school was another topic covered.

Teachers at Mount View Middle School said art classes teach students skills that core subjects simply couldn’t.

“Well art is important for your brain growth,” Amanda Wimmer, Mount View Middle art teacher, said. “You use it to problem solve, and it’s good for other core classes because of the problem solving.” 

The last day of the 2017 legislative session is scheduled for April 8. 

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