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Intriguing people: Patti Maurer

patty-maurerMaurer’s credentials are impressive. She holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in dance and a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of Colorado, with an additional advanced fine arts teaching certification from the state of South Carolina.

In 2006, Maurer started the dance department at Hilton Head Island Elementary School for the Creative Arts. Two years later, she was named one of South Carolina Arts Commission’s top 40 Arts educators.

She has performed in theaters in the United States and as far away as  Japan and Korea. Local residents have applauded her performances in the arts centers’ productions of “The Producers,” “A Chorus Line,” “My Fair Lady,” and “Sweet Charity.”

Through her work as president of The Island Council of the Arts, teachers, parents and students have come to know Maurer as a devoted champion of the arts, a tireless fund raiser, and a devoted advocate for talented young people in our local schools who are pursuing advanced education and training in art related professions.

Maurer says she grew up with very few resources to promote her love of the arts, which may be the reason she devotes so much of her time, energy, and creative talents to provide a different climate for artists in our community. Maurer’s goal is to showcase excellence in the visual, performing and literary arts. So, each year she is involved in the premiere arts gala in our community, “An Evening of the Arts,” held this year at the Sea Pines Country Club, designed to raise funds for artist-in-education residency programs, scholarships, and the Island Council of the Arts teacher grants.

In the twelve years in which Maurer has lived and worked in the Lowcountry, she has forged solid working relationships with many art organizations. She has performed with the Hilton Head Dance Theatre, the Main Street Youth Theatre and the Bluffton School of Dance.

She’s particularly proud of the musical “The King of Motown Bass” which she wrote, directed and choreographed as a tribute to Motown bassist, James Jamerson, featuring the performance of one hundred Beaufort County students and teachers. She credits Dr. Karen Chandler, Associate Professor at the College of Charleston and the Island School Council for the Arts for all the support and help they gave her on this highly acclaimed production in 2012.

Sylvia Pitts, a visual arts teacher at Hilton Head Elementary School for the Creative Arts, who has known Patti Maurer for more than ten years, sums it all up, when she says, “Patti Maurer is a true artist and teacher. I watched her give to her students her time, her expertise and most importantly of herself without hesitation. Students loved Patti because they knew she loved them. Patti invested in every single student she taught. Their success became her success. Her students shined on stage because they knew Patti Maurer was dancing alongside them in the wings and that she was their greatest fan.”

Photo by Russell Greene