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Volume 26, Number 10 — October 2018

The arts lost a friend in May

Ben Collins
Ben Collins

By Leslie Grace | A! Magazine for the Arts | May 29, 2018

The arts lost a special friend in May with the death of Ben Collins.

“Ben was a visionary designer who oversaw the redesign of our logo, all of our advertising and was responsible for rebranding the Paramount in recent years. With his dear wife Cam, Ben was leading us into the future with a dynamic website renovation. He has given so much to countless nonprofits and arts institutions across the region. His creative spirit, goodheartedness and sense of adventure were unique and will be sorely missed. Our hearts go out to Cam, his son and his entire family,” says Miles Marek, executive director of the Paramount Center for the Arts.

Ben served on the board of Believe in Bristol for several years, working to help other local entrepreneurs in downtown Bristol. As part of that work, he chaired the committee for BiB’s Entrepreneur Grants Program. This began as a small “shark tank” style prize, in which downtown entrepreneurs presented their pitch to a panel of judges for the opportunity to win a $5,000 prize. Ben helped grow this into a $60,000+ program. Through the program, Ben mentored downtown businesses such as Bristol Station Brews & Taproom, Elderbrew and Bloom Café & Listening Room.

He served on the board of Art in Public Places and worked with and supported numerous other local non-profits such as Barter Theatre, PUSH! Film Festival, Margaret B. Mitchell Spay-Neuter Clinic, The Crisis Center, Tennesseans for the Arts, KOSBE: The Small Business Connection, Appalachian Sustainable Development, Birthplace of Country Music, and others.

Ben and his wife, Cam, helped AAME in numerous ways from serving on the board, to developing and maintaining our websites and providing insight into future plans. We shall miss his warm smile and counsel.