The State of Connecticut voted Bill an Arts Hero In 2019.
Pictured; Cathy Osten State Senator, Bill Dougal, Dori Dougal
The Connecticut Office of the Arts writes:
“Bill provides laughter, creativity and smiles from ear-to-ear to children at the Connecticut Children's Medical Center (CCMC). His talent for creating a caricature at lightning speed has children in awe and helps them forget why they are in the hospital for a little while; and that means to world to the children and the parents. Bill is an Arts Hero at CCMC!”
Their 44 sec. Video interview...
Bill’s acceptance speech.
Thank you so much! I hesitate to say I deserve it. I think you folks (at the Children’s Hospital) are heroes. I cheer the kids once a month. You do it daily. And the CT Office of the Arts are heroes, the way they champion arts. Another arts hero is EncourageKids Foundation. They arrange for me to go there.
I don't save lives, but I can make folks forget their problems for a bit, with an artistic treat. I don’t have powers like a super hero, but I have the power to give people smiles… Two smiles; One on the picture and one on their face.
My caricatures are complimentary. In more ways than one. My contact at Natchaug Hospital says the kids get self esteem. What do I get? Well, making art makes me happy. And I find that the art I make makes people happy. Which makes me happy again. It’s a vicious circle of happiness. [I’ll tell ya.}
When It comes to teaching, I love using a variety of formats. I’ve done that through Hartford Performs and places like Camp Horizons and The Autism Center. Traditionally teaching is a pretty dry affair. But as a teacher, I’m all wet. Especially when I teach about fish. I may use song. “I saw a sea star. Saw a squid. Saw a blue lobster. Yes I did. At the seashore.” I use humor to teach character values. Cowboy Billy says. “You should never spit in the sheriff’s face. Unless of course his moustache is on fire.” I use art to teach about fractions. Half way down are the eyes. ¾ down is the top of the mouth.
(Seriously…)I like to put my artwork to work. My motto is “art for the people”
Say it with me. 1,2,3… “Art for the people”. [[1,2,3… “Art for the people”. ]] Alright! If there‘s any squirrels in the audience… sorry. No art for you…. [opt; maybe next year]. (Thanks again.)