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Elizabeth Sayad A Woman o f Achievement Scene ~~^A woman of achieve- / ^ ^ k ment. Those arc the r—^^L words that best IA J H ^ describe Elizabeth Sayad, wife of St. Louis senior partner Homer Sayad. In recognition of her many contributions to arts and education in Missouri over the years, the St Louis Globe- Democrat named Elizabeth that city's Woman of Achievement in Civic Responsibility for 1976. The award, presented last January, was one often the newspaper gave to women for service in such diverse fields as medicine, child care and social welfare. An accomplished pianist, Elizabeth has devoted much of her time to furthering the arts, particularly music, in her community In 1959 she helped found the New Music Circle, a group that provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of contemporary music. She serves on the boards of the Opera Theater and the Mississippi River Festival, and was a founder of the Missouri State Arts Council. Because of her concern for the quality of education in St. Louis, Elizabeth headed a fund-raising campaign to establish the New City School, an elementary school where students are encouraged to work at their own pace rather than being placed in a particular grade simply because of age. Regular visits by the children to museums, police stations, newspapers and hospitals give them opportunities to relate educational experiences to everyday life. "Self-motivation is the most important thing being taught at the school," Elizabeth says. "Students learn because they want to, not merely because a teacher is telling them that they must" 10 The latest and most outstanding of Elizabeth's achievements was her organization of BHAM (Bicentennial Horizons in American Music and the Performing Arts), an arts festival that lasted three weeks and brought thousands of people to St. Louis during the bicentennial year "I began planning for BHAM in December 1973," Elizabeth recalls, "I knew other cities were arranging bicentennial activities that involved historical reenactments and restorations, and I thought that an arts festival would be a unique way for St. Louis to pay tribute to America's rich cultural heritage, which, of course, goes back much further than 1776." In order to put her idea for an arts festival into action, Elizabeth enlisted the aid of several prominent people in St. Louis, beginning with Mayor John H. Poelker According to her, "having the mayor put his name on a declaration of support for the project helped get BHAM off the ground. Another key figure whose assistance ensured the program's success was Congressman James W. Symington, who introduced me to several influential leaders of the Washington cultural community" With Congressman Symington's help, Elizabeth was able to get financial support for BHAM from two federal agencies, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Park Service. "Having federal backing," Elizabeth pointed out, "made things a lot easier when the time came for soliciting funds in the community But Washington's aid aside, I think the key to BHAM's success was that it was a truly grassroots effort More than 1,500 volunteers, organized into twenty-eight committees, worked on the project, and 90 percent of the 01,250,000 we spent on the festival was raised right here in the St. Louis area." In addition to individual support, a number of local organizations, such as the Daughters of
Bicentennial Horizons in American Music and the Performing Arts
Sayad, Homer E.
Borelli, Frank J.
Haskins & Sells. St. Louis Office
Haskins & Sells. Bergen County Office
H&S Reports, Vol. 14, (1977 summer), p. 10-12
|Source||Originally published by: Haskins & Sells|
|Rights||Copyright and permission to republish held by: Deloitte; Illustrations by Frank Bozo|
|Format||PDF page image with corrected OCR scanned at 400 dpi|
|Collection||Deloitte Digital Collection|
|Digital Publisher||University of Mississippi Library. Accounting Collection|