West Liberty University senior Josh Benyo was appointed to the Arts & Cultural Commission by Mayor Andy McKenzie recently.Josh Benyo

“I’m thrilled and honored to serve on the Arts & Cultural Commission for the City of Wheeling. Wheeling is no longer a manufacturing giant as it once was years ago, but I believe the arts will play a significant role in the rebirth of the Friendly City,” Benyo said.

The mission of the arts and culture organization is to promote and develop artistic, cultural activities and initiatives that stimulate economic development and advance the quality of life of the greater Wheeling area. It meets monthly in the City-County Building.

Benyo is a student in the School of Professional Studies at West Liberty University’s Highlands Center. He has garnered a wealth of experience in the arts while attending WLU. Since 2011 he has served as the technical director for WLU’s Hilltop Opera designing productions of Mozart’s “Magic Flute” and Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel.”

In the summer of 2011, Benyo completed an internship with West Virginia Public Broadcasting, building scenery for the PBS children’s television series, “Abracadabra.” During the 2011-2012 Hilltop Players theater season, he served as the marketing and public relations director and box office coordinator.

Benyo also is employed by Vance Memorial Church as a tenor section leader for its Chancel Choir.

The Arts and Cultural Commission includes committees representing:  visual arts, performance arts, literature/history, and economic development/marketing. The Annual Arts Festival is the largest project overseen by the commission and will take place next on June 22, 2013, at West Virginia Northern Community College Square, West Virginia Independence Hall and the Ohio County Public Library. The festival will feature an artists’ market along with musical, literary, history and visual arts events throughout the day.