Meeting Dame Alyce Erickson for the first time feels nothing like a first encounter. Her entire being exudes a gentle, genuine nature. Just when you think she couldn’t be any kinder, she looks you in the eye and calls you, ‘darlin’ in the sweetest of southern drawls that makes you feel you are one of her dearest friends.
Known to colleagues and friends as one who phones to say, `I love you darlin’,” she inspires many along the way. So much so, that hardly anyone can say no to Alyce.
Alyce is the type of person who rolls up her sleeves and gets to work when she detects a need; like when she noticed a need at Boca Museum of Art. “I called every president of every organization and said, `I need your help. This town needs to raise money for the museum.’” With Alyce leading the charge, The President’s Ball was born. Out of everyone she reached out to, all but one joined her in the fundraising effort.
Alyce also noticed overcrowded schools cutting arts programs. In her signature style, she asked the Boca Museum of Art to begin busing students from school to and from a church for art programs. This “ask” led to the children performing three shows a year at the church. They then went on to perform at the Broward Performing Arts Center, Miami City Ballet and national competitions hosted by the National Society of Arts & Letters (NSAL), a volunteer organization that provides financial assistance and performing opportunities for young artists. Alyce is president emeritus and current board member of NSAL Florida East Coast Chapter.
“Kids need to be aware of cultural art such as music, drawing, photography and dance. I enjoy advocating for them to be exposed. If they are not exposed to art, then they do not have choices.”
Fortunately, young artists have Alyce as their number one advocate.
In 2016, she spearheaded a pilot High School Photography Project at Boca Raton Community High School to support, mentor and recognize photography students. The Project was so successful that it is being considered for launch in high schools across NSAL Chapters nationwide and was expanded in 2017 to include three additional area high schools.
She submerses herself in arts and culture to the point it is all around her. Alyce’s miniature red poodle,“Miss Puccini,” was named after Alyce heard Operatic Soprano Nadine Sierra sing an aria by Giacomo Puccini at a NSAL Voice Competition. Sierra won and is now world-renown.
With all that Alyce does to share her passion for the arts and helping young artists, she remains humble when recognized for her contributions.
When a former NSAL competition winner was accepted to Juilliard School, he called Alyce and said, “I love you, I love you. I won. You got me in!” Alyce replied, “I had nothing to do with it. You got in on your own talent and character, honey.
F – French fries or tater tots? French Fries
R – Right brained or left brained? Right Brained
E – Email or carrier pigeon? Email
S – Sunshine or moonlight? Sunshine
H – Homebody or party animal? Homebody