The following is for a series of profiles of notable Fullertonians (past and present) that I am writing for the Fullerton College Centennial exhibit. To share your story, visit www.fullertoncollegecentennial.com
Florence Millner Arnold’s list of cultural contributions to the city of Fullerton is staggering: She became president of the Orange County Art Association, was a member of the American-European Cultural Exchange, co-founder and chairman of the annual Night in Fullerton, a member of the City of Fullerton Cultural and Fine Arts Commission, chairman of Bicentenniel Committee for Art in Public Places for the city of Fullerton, president of the Muckenthaler Cultural Center Annual “Florence Arnold Children’s Art Scholarships Exhibition,” and president of the Art Alliance. She received numerous awards and accolades, including, on her 85th birthday the city of Fullerton presented her with the “Key to Our Hearts.”
Regarding the formation of the annual “Night In Fullerton” event, Arnold recalled, “We had to think of all the disciplines: music, dance, and theater. So we went to the schools to see what they had. Of course, we had a university. They had an art department and a drama department, and the Fullerton College certainly had all those things. Then there was the Muckenthaler which had just been presented to the city...what should we do about it? We thought that when we opened the Muckenthaler, it would be nice to have a cultural event. We organized all the various places and had them put their best foot forward, calling it ‘A Night in Fullerton.’”
From the 1950s to the 1980s, “Flossie” worked hard to help build a real arts community in Fullerton, and became a celebrated artist in her own right. Some of her pieces are in the permanent collection of The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.