LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The executive director of the Tippecanoe Arts federation is being recognized by the YWCA for this year's Salute to Women. Over the past 10 years, Tetia Lee has made quite an impact on the arts in our community.
"Arts had always been something that's important to me," said Lee.
Tetia Lee explains it best. The arts made a lasting impression on her at a young age.
"My first art teacher that I can remember, she told me that 'can't' wasn't a word. I think that has really transcended my life and my career and just my idea on what is in life," said Lee.
Lee knew she wanted to turn that passion into a career.
"Because I was having a little bit of a rebellious period, I decided to just kind of try and terrify my parents and say I was going to art school, anticipating that they would hate that. They didn't. They actually really supported my decision, but I also knew at that time that I had to make a living out of it," said Lee.
Fast forward to now, Lee is the executive director at the Tippecanoe Arts Federation. She has been for the last 10 years. She said giving back to the community is why she does what she does.
"That goes out within all of our programs, like our after school arts program. I was a troubled youth. This is giving it back. I loved to tag when I was growing up. The mural arts initiative really gives an opportunity for our young people to paint legally, which would have been a great outlet for me growing up," said Lee.
She said it's extremely humbling to be named a Woman of Distinction by the YWCA.
"The vision itself of the YWCA speaks to all of those things that I'm very passionate about -- empowering young people, eliminating racism and obviously all of those things come to a head in any sort of community. I feel wonderful to be able to speak from that experience and talk about shaping the future for our next generations," said Lee.
Lee will be recognized on Tuesday at the annual Salute to Women ceremony at the Trails Banquet Facility.