Community Builder: Columbia woman Julie Brenan has a love for the arts

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - On any given day, it's likely you'll find our latest Community Builder in partnership with Mungo Homes at the Columbia Museum of Art.

Museum officials call Julie Brenan a tireless advocate who does everything she can to support the museum and its mission of providing community enrichment for all.

"Growing up it was an important part of my family," Brenan said. "We just always had a lot exposure to the art, I think it just enhances life experience so much."

So most days you'll find her inside the Columbia Museum of Art giving her time to her passion.

"She has really kind of become a part-time staff person. She is here so much," Columbia Museum of Art Director of Development Lowndes MacDonald said.

Brenan joined the museum's board of directors four years ago, and serves on the development and education committees. She's also co-chairing this year's gala -- the museum's biggest fundraiser.

"There are all sorts of volunteers who do all sorts of things, but Julie really stepped up and stepped out of the box," Museum Gala Chair Steven Ford said.

Brenan has also been a committed volunteer at the Prosperity Project which brings after-school programs to at-risk children in the Lyon Street Community. In the Spring, the museum signed on with the project as a partner organization.

"It was perfect because she's so great and outgoing and works so well with the children," Kerry Kuhlkin-Hornsby, Director of Education said. "And then to have her be there to help us with our art programming is just wonderful."

To thank Brenan for all she does, museum officials nominated her as a Community Builder. The folks at the museum add they simply couldn't do what they do without volunteers like Brenan, and for that they are grateful.

"It means so much more for someone out in the community that's not being paid to do it but someone that cares and has that passion about what they're doing," MacDonald said.

As a Mungo Homes Community Builder, Brenan receives a $1,000 donation to the charity of her choice. She says she will donate the money to the Columbia Museum of Art.

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