Yadkin County native Jessie Grant has returned to her roots and will be sharing her love and expertise in theater with the community, and area youth in particular.
“We are extremely pleased to have Jessica Grant join the staff of the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center,” said Yadkin Arts Council President John Willingham.”She fills the position of director of Community Outreach and Performing Arts Education. Jessie grew up in the community and connects with so many of our citizens. She has had incredible theatrical training along with production experience. We look forward to significant growth in our programming with Jessie part of the art center’s team.”
Grant is the daughter of Patty Grant and the late Jim Grant, longtime theater supporters in the county.
“I was literally raised on stage,” Grant said. Her father directed plays at both Starmount and Forbush high schools, and her mother directed church productions.
“I did homework in between rehearsals, my whole life.”
Following high school, Grant pursued her theater education, obtaining her undergraduate degree from Lees-McRae in musical theater and a master’s degree in directing from Roosevelt University in Chicago.
Her first directing experience was at her alma mater Forbush High School with a production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” in 2008, followed by a community production of “Kiss Me, Kate” with Foothills Theatre in Elkin.
Grant has toured professionally as well as taught theater all up and down the eastern seaboard. She said she is extremely pleased to return to her hometown and continue to share her love of theater.
“I’m so excited to be a part of the community of Yadkin Arts Council, it’s what I had dreamed of when I was in high school and even now,” she said.
Grant got her feet wet earlier this summer at the arts council, directing a youth production of “Shrek: The Musical” with a cast of more than 60 young people.
In addition to her work at the arts council, Grant also will be teaching theater at Yadkinville Elementary.
“I’ve always loved this community, and it’s just so nice to be Jim [and Patty] Grant’s girl, if that’s what I’m known as for the rest of my life, I’m totally fine with that and to know that I’m continuing a heritage that my parents started,” Grant said.
For more information on upcoming auditions and productions at the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center, visit www.yadkinarts.org.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram at @RippleReporterK.