The International Storytelling Center is very sorry to mark the passing of Mr. James C. Martin, a long-time friend who generously supported our work and mission.
Mr. Martin and his late wife, Mary B. Martin (for whom the Center’s state-of-the-art storytelling hall is named) were both dedicated patrons of the arts. In her lifetime, they were enthusiastic supporters of the fine arts. Later, in his wife’s memory, Mr. Martin donated generously to ISC and to other arts programs in the community, including our friends at East Tennessee State University. These gifts not only sparked economic development across the region, but also inspired and delighted generations of artists, educators, and audiences.
In 2008, Mr. Martin’s gift of $1 million helped fund improvements for ISC’s facilities and website, laying the groundwork for the expansion of innovative educational programs—and helping us host visitors (more than 11,000 each year) to our Teller-in-Residence program in style.
Mr. and Mrs. Martin’s legacy is plain to see in the fruits of those gifts and through the continued dedication of their daughter, Sonia King, who is a member of our board. Our thoughts are with Sonia and her family during this sad time, but we’re grateful to have known Mr. Martin, and to have been part of his vision for the arts in East Tennessee.