Farmington Library, Warner music teacher win top arts award

The Warner Middle School music teacher Brenda Gold-Sloan and the Farmington Community Library will share this year’s Nancy Coumoundouros Distinguished Service to the Arts Award, presented by the Farmington Area Arts Commission.

Pamela Alexander
Pamela Alexander (contributed)

The award recipients, and 2019 Artist in Residence Pamela Alexander, will be honored at the Festival of the Arts Reception and Awards Ceremony held Friday, April 12 at the Costick Center, 28600 W. 11 Mile Rd. in Farmington Hills. The 7 p.m. ceremony follows a 6 p.m. reception.

Jon Aldred for Farmington Hills City Council

Alexander, a talented visual artist, works primarily with acrylic paint on canvas. She studied art at Oakland Community College, Art History at University of Michigan-Dearborn, and received her Bachelor of Arts from Madonna University.

“My natural inclinations as a child were to draw, color, and paint. I was nurtured by my artist parents,” Alexander said in a press release. “I am so grateful for this honor and will do everything I am able to serve the arts and artists in this community in the year to come.”

Alexander’s art is on display through 2020 in the Farmington Hills Public Art Program at City Hall.

Brenda Gold-Sloan
Brenda Gold-Sloan (contributed)

Gold-Sloan, Director of Choirs at Warner Middle School, has been a public school educator for more than 32 years in the Olivet, Flint, Detroit, and Southfield School Districts before joining Farmington Schools in 1995. She has also taught General and Choral Music at Gill Elementary, Flanders Elementary, and Dunckel Middle School.

In addition to serving as a choral clinician, private voice and piano instructor, church music director, conducting the Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra in joint concert with the Christian Tabernacle Church Choir, and mentoring student teachers, she was a recipient of WNIC’s Women Who Make Magic Award. Gold-Sloan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Music Education from Olivet College, and a Master of Arts in Vocal Music Education from Eastern Michigan University, including a thesis entitled “A Study of the Similarities Between Two Types of Black Music: The Spiritual and Gospel.”

“Music can stimulate creativity, imagination, and even shape the character of a person,” she said. “There is no greater joy for me than when I witness my students reveal their passion, sensitivity, and love through the music-making experience.”

Farmington Community Library
Farmington Community Library (contributed)

The Farmington Community Library (FCL) provides a platform for artists of all disciplines to share their work with the community. A monthly Sunday Concert series showcases a variety of music styles, and the Community Sings series, led by 2016 Farmington Area Artist in Residence Matt Watroba, provides people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to connect through song.

The FCL also provides a venue for the visual arts, hosts a twice yearly International Film series, and is home to the monthly Fiber Fans and Quilting groups.

“As a library and cultural institution, we are strongly committed to encouraging the appreciation and creation of literature,” Director Elyse Streit said. “Each year, in collaboration with other area libraries, we participate in the Everyone’s Reading program, bringing the community together through the shared experience of reading a selected book and attending a visit by the author. Our monthly Writers’ Group and annual involvement in National Novel Writing Month encourages the development of local community writers.”

Tickets for the Festival of the Arts Awards Ceremony, open to all ages, are $10 per person when purchased by April 5 or $15 per person beginning April 6. Purchase tickets at or at the Costick Center. For more information, call 248-473-1848.

The Nancy Coumoundouros Distinguished Service to the Arts Award recognizes outstanding service to the community in the creative arts by a group or individual.  The Artist in Residence Award is given each year to a resident of Farmington or Farmington Hills who displays exceptional talent and artistic accomplishments.

The Festival of the Arts is produced annually by the Farmington Hills Special Services Department/Cultural Arts Division, the Farmington Community Arts Council, Farmington Public Schools, and the Farmington Area Arts Commission. The 2019 Festival of the Arts is made possible in part by the generous support of the Farmington/Farmington Hills Education Foundation. For more information, visit .

Reported by