How a lifelong love for the visual arts is leading Highlands’ The Bascom: A Center for the Visual Arts—and its community—forward
Osborn’s path to The Bascom began in Duluth, GA, where a lifelong love for the visual and performing arts led her to the Jacqueline Casey Hudgens Center for Art and Learning. Volunteering there led first to a leadership role as president of the organization’s new guild; then, ultimately, to the position of executive director.
After its previous director’s departure, Osborn shepherded the Hudgens through a successful turnaround. She wasn’t looking for a new role when a recruiter contacted her about The Bascom, but The Bascom had something the Hudgens didn’t: a location in the mountains, where Osborn and her husband had always wanted to live.
Osborn was already familiar with The Bascom. She and her family had visited the center in 2012 after board members came back from its grand opening with printed materials that impressed her. Three years later, Osborn joined The Bascom’s staff as executive director.
Born in Wilmington, NC, Osborn said the plateau has “absolutely” delivered on—even exceeded—her expectations. “My family loves the solitude in the mountains, the majesty,” she said. “I love the stillness and the quiet. You walk out and it’s breathtaking. It’s what brings us all here.”
“Us” includes the number of transplants to the plateau who have “chosen to be here because they love it,” Osborn said. What she loves most: what she calls “this extraordinary convergence of different people”—the blend of new arrivals with families who have lived in the area for generations. Their commitment to the community, she said, is “what allows The Bascom to be here.”