Board Perspective – An Education Model That Works

By David A. Price, Vice President of Ryman Arts Board of Directors 

Attraction architect David A. Price, President and Founder of the Price Leisure Group, is the son of Disney Legend and IAAPA Hall of Fame recipient Harrison "Buzz" Price. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Ryman Arts Board of Directors. In his recent publication of Buzz Stories at Thirty Thousand Feet, David reflects on the elements that provided the foundation of his successful career in the creative industry:

What luck to have parents that encouraged me to follow my interest in drawing. It led me to sign up for pre-college studies in painting and drawing at Chouinard Art School in 1964 and 1965 for two 12-week sessions at three hours per week. I joined other talented high school students and together we learned the fundamentals of drawing and painting from professional art instructors. The live studio drawing classes were entirely new to me. I loved it.
Looking back to my experiences at Chouinard Art School, I hadn’t realized how special it was to have such encouraging parents. It was just my reality. My high school weekends included learning the fundamentals of drawing and painting from professional artists and sharing the experience with my fellow high school students. On one occasion we visited Bunker Hill to sketch Victorian homes that would in time disappear and become concert halls and museums. I also started creating a portfolio which would come in handy applying to colleges two years later.

David with Leah Sklar, the late Marty Sklar, and friends at Ryman Arts’ graduation ceremony

As it turned out, the experience I had at Chouinard turned out to be a pretty good model for how to teach arts education to talented high school students. You put them in a college environment with other talented high school students, give them professional instruction and guidance and then “let the grass grow.” That’s exactly what Mom and Dad along with fellow founders of Ryman Arts had in mind when they created the program in 1989 after Herbert Ryman’s passing.

David observing Ryman Arts students in class

Herbert Ryman (1910–1989) encouraged young artists throughout his long career as an artist, designer and Imagineer at Walt Disney Studios. After his death, his friends and family established Ryman Arts to carry on his philosophy and commitment to teach and encourage young artists to reach their full potential. The founders of Ryman Arts were Marty and Leah Sklar, Sharon Disney Lund, Lucille Ryman Carroll and my parents Anne and Buzz Price.
I love and admire my parents for having given me the opportunity to attend Chouinard’s pre-college studies in painting and drawing and for not being satisfied with opening that door just for me. They and fellow founders of Ryman Arts would provide similar opportunities for countless other talented students. Today I’m very proud and honored to follow in their footsteps serving as Ryman Arts Board Vice-President and supporting Board President Phil Hettema, our Board of Directors and Ryman Arts’ amazing and dedicated Staff.

You can continue David Price’s story by reading Buzz Stories at Thirty Thousand Feet

For over 29 years, Ryman Arts has empowered more than 27,000 young artists through its core program, outreach, and community engagement efforts. Now serving over 500 students annually, this free, 1½-year-long, out-of-school program integrates rigorous fine arts instruction, college and career counseling, mentoring, and supportive services for talented youth with limited opportunities.