PEOPLE OFTEN ASK, does art matter? Is it worth funding? Is it worth studying? Joanne’s answer, without hesitation, was always yes. Her love for fine arts inspired her to bring this universal language to our community, by helping found the Three Rivers Art Festival. Joanne Gallinghouse was an incredible woman who had a devoted passion for self-expression, and encouraged the same in others around her. Joanne knew that art is an integral part of developing education, local culture, as well as entertainment. Throughout her life, she helped plant the seeds that have grown programs like Arts Alive, Children’s Discovery and many more.
Joanne had a vision of enriching the lives of those around her with cultural awareness and diversity through all forms of art. Leo Tolstoy, the author of War and Peace once said, “Art is the activity by which a person, having experienced an emotion, intentionally transmits it to others.” This is the epitome of what Joanne achieved when she helped the Three Rivers Arts Festival come to fruition. From branding to marketing, Joanne invoked inspiration through her businesses as well as the local programs she supported.
Although some may regard art education as a luxury, simple creative activities play a crucial role in early childhood development and education. The improvement of fine motor skills, language development, and academic performance is directly linked to participation in the kinds of programs Joanne put her heart into. She understood that the children of today will become the leaders and innovators of tomorrow. A great innovator and influencer herself, Joanne was ahead of her time. She knew it was important to create a hub for local artists, aficionados and the future creators of St. Tammany Parish. Joanne laid the fundamental foundations for economic growth of the future through fine arts and was a mentor to women in both business and leadership roles within the St. Tammany Parish community.
This year as we celebrate local artists and our rich culture at the Three Rivers Art Festival, Joanne’s absence will not go unnoticed. The care and appreciation that has gone into making the Three Rivers Arts Festival foundation a success will surely be missed by those who knew her best. Joanne was a rare person filled with warmth and light, and as we walk down the streets of our town, finding our inspiration, we will remember her and carry her in our hearts. We are thankful for a woman who laid the foundation for a better future for women in business and the people of our community; she was a true visionary. Most of all we are thankful for her friendship, her passion, and zest for living life to the fullest. Thank you, Joanne.
The Three Rivers Art Festival will be held from Saturday, November 10th through Sunday, November the 11th. This festival is a non-profit organization that is run by a volunteer board and part-time coordinator, supplemented by more than 150 additional volunteer committee members and workers.