Mary B. Martin
Jonesborough’s Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts is named for Mary Martin, a life-long resident of Johnson City. She worked for Tennessee Eastman Company for 44 years, initially as a laboratory technician. After getting her BS degree in chemistry while she was working at Eastman, she became a research chemist at Eastman doing exploratory work in new polymer systems. She was awarded two U.S. patents. She met her husband James C. Martin at Eastman and was married 42 years until her death in 2008. She and her husband loved the performing arts and through their expertise in the investment world after his wife’s death, James became a great benefactor of the arts in the area in Mary’s name.
In Jonesborough, a large contribution from James Martin helped initiate the arts programming at the McKinney Center, and his tremendous support of the International Storytelling Center resulted in the Storytelling Center being named the Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall.
Mary and James Martin’s daughter, Sonia King, and her late husband Jim have carried on the family legacy of supporting the arts through their generous support of the McKinney Center, Jonesborough Repertory Theatre, and the Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall. Jonesborough is truly thankful for the support received from the Martins; a family of intelligent, thoughtful, humorous, and wonderful people who love the arts and their community.
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ABOUT THE MCKINNEY CENTER
The McKinney Center at Booker T. Washington School is a multi-use facility providing arts education through Jonesborough's Mary B. Martin Program.