Change Makers: Denise McCall

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How long have you lived in the Prince William area, and what do you most like about living here?
The Prince William area has been home to my business and family since June 2006. What I like most about the area is its diversity of people, scenic opportunities and the amazing history of inspiring people and places we live with every day. I also appreciate the multitude of service organizations and service professionals that make this community pleasant. It is nice to be with people who care.

What are some of your favorite things to do in the area and why?
My favorite thing to do in the area is enjoying the events, shops and restaurants in Historic Manassas. We’d come into the city when out-of-town family and friends visited to show them the quaint shops, the jazz festival and historic sites. When I was volunteering for the Prince William Chamber as ambassador/mentor for events, meetings and businesses, I always liked being surrounded by history and enjoyed the  architecture, how the buildings and streets were maintained and how the city was growing each year.

How have you been involved in the community?
As a volunteer in our community, I was honored to first serve our country here as an active duty military spouse while my husband’s leadership was in D.C. and later while he was away leading police depot work in a war zone. Through a volunteer leadership position, I helped the military community by working with teams in our area long-term in part to help our military bring awareness to diverse family volunteer service
around the world and to aid the economic development of this community for future generations.

In our community, my donations aided working women through NVFS and helped fund local scholarships through chamber auction donations for many years. The chamber ambassador/mentor work over seven years included work on the highly successful “I Belong” campaign as well as the Charter Founding Member strategy that helped our chamber and community grow. In addition to raising donations for Prince
William Chamber silent auctions, I was also on call teams to help build memberships through the years and worked events/ribbon cuttings as ambassador.

This May I was honored to sponsor creative work for the nonprofit-created Art of Life Gala to help the disabled and veterans through the local nonprofit, Therapeutic Adventures. Our studio business has also helped the Latino community and families of children in need through business services donated in kind.

Our public community gallery promotes the arts through exhibits, classes and educational historic art tours, helping further the economic development goals of art in our city and offering free music, art exhibits and food spreads with wine at free community events.

Our gallery recently donated an exhibit to help bring awareness to the behind-the-scenes fine art of performance art by promoting local nonprofit Manassas Ballet Theatre at our gallery.

We have donated to Give Back Prince William and participate monthly in city events by contributing ideas/feedback to nonprofit Historic Manassas Inc. when requested. Our location in the historic district has been the facility of seven new businesses to the City of Manassas and has recently been improved with new paint, repairs, trees and more.

We choose to be involved because our studio strives for ideals, and as creative people we all have vision that can include seeing them through practically to help communities and causes. It is our fundamental purpose and mission to help communities, and it has become our life’s work after over 30 years total, including over 12 years in the Prince William area.

If you had to give advice to people new to the area, what would you tell them and why?
The advice I would give to those new to the area is move your business, volunteer and spread your roots. If you do make strong roots by helping, continue to creative problem-solve any issues you find wherever you go to help our communities continue to be welcoming, modern, safe and kind for future generations.

How would you describe your business in three sentences?
McCall Studio has created for community nonprofits and enterprises through her business since 1988. McCall expanded her studio to include a public art gallery for our community in 2017 with the mission to further promote the arts and development of our community. We create and foster [an]enduring image!

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