Women’ Service League of Ashtabula County, Inc. has awarded college scholarships to three students at the Ashtabula Arts Center. Eric Grapatin, Cassie Powers and Aaron Stehura are this years scholarship recipients.
Eric Grapatin is a 2005 graduate of Perry High School. He has performed in numerous productions at the AAc over the past few years--among them, “Les Miserables: School Edition,” “Biloxi Blues,” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” This fall, Eric will be attending Syracuse University majoring in musical theater.
Cassie Powers is a 2005 graduate of Geneva High School. Cassie will be attending Mercyhurst College majoring in dance. She has received significant scholarship assistance from Mercyhurst.
Aaron Stehura is a 2005 graduate of Jefferson High School. Aaron has been a saxophone student of Geoffrey Wands for the last several years. He will be attending Cornell University this fall studying engineering.
Women’s Service League and the Arts Center wish the best of luck to these bright and talented young students!
The weather was perfect for the 18th annual “Regatta for the Arts,” the annual fundraiser held by the Ashtabula Yacht Club to benefit the Ashtabula Arts Center. The Regatta is the only fundraiser conducted by the AYC. Area businesses and individuals made monetary pledges to sponsor the 23 boats in the race with the proceeds wholly benefiting the Arts Center. Held on Sunday, June 19th, this year’s race raised approximately $5000.
The overall winner of the event was the "Whistle," skippered by Jim Laird and sponsored by Harbor Realty and Jack Lundi.
Other winners and their division include:Performance Handicapped Racing Fleet A1st place - "Whistle," skippered by Jim Laird and sponsored by Harbor Realty and Jack Lundi. 2nd place - "Pinafore," skippered by Carl Anderson and sponsored by Grand River Rubber and Plastics3rd place - "Ten Spot," skippered by Terry Persily and sponsored by Ten Spot Syndicate.Jam (Jib & Main) Fleet1st place - "Talisman," skippered by Dwight Beebe & Candy Allds and sponsored by Sky Bank Insurance2nd place - "Sailcat," skippered by Ed Millspaw and sponsored by Hughes-Roller Construction3rd place - "Hanalei," skippered by Bill Shinsky and sponsored by Wm. J. Shinskey Construction and North Shore Psychological Services.
Other boats participating in the regatta and their sponsors included:"Eleanor Rigby," skippered by Bob Lee , and sponsored by Bob Lee and Phyllis Duffy-Zala; "Fat Lady," skippered by Gary Englehart and sponsored by Nevin Hoeffert; “Epiphysis,” skippered by Jeff Brodsky and sponsored by Ashtabula Orthopaedics; "Rociante," skippered by Bill Bobulsky, and sponsored by Kathy and Bill Bobulsky; “Islena,” skippered by Siegfried Horne and sponsored by Buckeye Title; “Entropy III,” skippered by Bob Gilmore and sponsored by Curry & Pasqualone; “Balisage," skippered by Jim LaPierre, and sponsored by Raymond Builders Supply; “Maccallan,” skippered by Bruce Robson and sponsored by Sutherland Marine; “Renegade,” skippered by Pat Steadman and sponsored by Brett and Gloria Kaull; "Serendipity," skippered by Rebecca Huddle, and sponsored by Tim Picken; "Kahuna," skippered by Bob Anderson, and sponsored by O & P Oil & Gas; “Green Flash,” skippered by Bob Brandenstein and sponsored by Bob and Jane Brandenstein; "Airfare," skippered by Tom Curkendall, and sponsored by Andover Bank; "Cardhu," skippered by Mike Blama, and sponsored by Koski Construction Co.; and "Moriah," skippered by Jim Ogren, and sponsored by Deli in the Rye; “Ma Cheri,” skippered by Charlie Fryman and sponsored by Charlie and Jane Fryman; and “Antidote,” skippered by Tom Steinmetz and sponsored by Dave Hamilton.
A party for sponsors, skippers and crew members was held at the AYC following the Regatta, and was sponsored by Parker Hunter and Scot Sinkler.
On behalf of the Arts Center, Executive Director Beth Koski extends special thanks to donors and volunteers, including the AYC Sail Club, The Committee Boat, Phyllis Zala, Debbie LaPierre, Judy Robson, Zelda Altman, Baerbel Baginski, Len and Karen Jury, Scot Sinkler, Gilda McQuoid, Trang Nelson, Debbie Venable, Play All Trophies, Markko Vineyards and all of the volunteers.
During the summer of 2003, I joined a group college faculty for a tour of Brazil. We visited school children along the Amazon and their families rescued us from a violent thunderstorm. We met with government official in Brasilia and religious leaders in Salvador. The elders of Rio de Janeiro taught us to dance and we were awed by the beauty of Iguassu Falls. Throughout our trip we went from moments of extreme activity and excitement to moments of peace and serenity. The photographs captured the events as they unfolded and I manipulated the images in an effort to expand and fully appreciate my experiences in Brazil.
The Brazilian people were open and welcoming. Regardless of what they were doing, they encouraged us to participate. I was able to step into their lives and take photographs. Most of the people showed their personalities by looking directly into the camera. I expanded on this sense of involvement by manipulating most of portraits, especially those of the children and dancers, in order to recreate the feeling of being drawn into their personal space and daily lives.
These close activities often increased my level of anxiety. I am a person who likes to maintain a safe distance. I often needed to step back and breathe. I used these opportunities to examine my surroundings and I quickly realized how often I was surrounded by sculpture. In the social centers, faces of stone stared at me. While beautiful, they tended to accentuate the sense of entrapment I had developed. In many ways the faces prevented me from escaping to a comfortable distance. As with the people, I photographed them in such a way as to recreate my growing anxiety.
The religious centers tended to be more calming and the sculptures there created a different sensation. The body language and facial expressions provided a sense of safety and comfort. I added a peaceful flow to their gestures in an attempt to accentuate the reassurance they emanated.
When we were not in the cities, the force and beauty of nature was overwhelming. Fierce thunderstorms and powerful waterfalls quickly gave way to soothing forests and the gentle flow of rivers. I expanded on the movement of the water but discovered that there are times when manipulation cannot add to the moment captured by the camera.
These images should not be interpreted as factual depictions of Brazil or its people. My goal is to share my personal experiences and perceptions. The nature of the photographs, the degree of manipulation and even the green and yellow frames that match the Brazilian national colors allow me to continue my journey. I hope they will allow you to share it with me.
Gordon calls his printing technique “digital watercolors.” He prints digital photos with a water based ink and manipulates the images before the ink has time to dry. Don’t miss this wonderful exhibit!
What would happen if Jesus lived today instead of 2000 years ago? That�s the question asked by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice when they wrote their phenomenally successful rock opera, �Jesus Christ Superstar.� Rocking across the Ashtabula Arts Center�s main stage, �Superstar,� which tells the story of the last seven days of Jesus� life, will run June 24, 25, 26, July 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16 and 17. All shows begin at 8:00 p.m.
Josh Theilan of Geneva plays the role of �Jesus.� Theilan played the role once before in 1994, in a previous Arts Center production. �I love this show,� Theilan says. �It�s like a constant rock concert.� Theilan became interested in performing at a very early age. �I started singing when I was three years old,� he says. �As I was growing up I would see the bigger kids performing every year at the Grape Jamboree in Geneva. I always said that �Someday I want to do that.�� Theilan played sports for a while. Then when he entered his freshman year of high school he got involved in theater. �After that I stopped playing sports and spent all of my free time doing plays. I�ve continued to perform into my adult years because it is such a total release. When you work forty hours a week at your job, it�s nice to have something to do after hours that you really love.� Theilan will next be serving as director for the Arts Center�s production of �South Pacific� which opens on August 5th.
�Superstar� was controversial when it debuted in 1971. Today, however, the play is usually viewed as simply a secular play with wonderful music that tells the story of Jesus. �In the 70�s, using rock music to tell the story of the Son of God was contentious and sacrilegious,� says Debra Greene-Lowe, the director of �Superstar.� �On another level, I believe Rice� and Webber�s take on the story, from the perspective not of Mark or Matthew, but rather from the protagonist Judas, was a point of view that was rather jarring. (But telling the story this way) forces us to realize that without Judas� betrayal, the rest of the story might not have happened.�
Playing one of Jesus� disciples is Charlie Bunch of Jefferson. Bunch, an active and enthusiastic member of the Central Missionary Baptist Church in Jefferson, got involved with �Jesus Christ Superstar� because of it�s inspiring message. �The play sends a very Christian message,� says Bunch. �Jesus Christ lived a life of betrayal with people around him hating him and wanting him to be crucified. His last days on earth were very trying and turbulent.�
While rehearsing for the show, Bunch feels inspired by the music, even to the point of rising to his feet to dance off-stage while fellow cast members are singing their parts. �Even though this is a rock opera, it tells a very true story. I hope that the show will give members of the audience a desire to take Jesus away with them and accept him into their lives.�
Tickets for �Jesus Christ Superstar� are on sale now and reservations can be made by calling the Arts Center at (440) 964-3396. Patron seating is $12, Adults $10, Seniors $9 and Students/Children $8.
Everyone loves a parade!
This year's Kidfest will be our most colorful and fun yet. Families are invited to come and join in on the fun. Come on join in the parade!
Saturday, August 6TH
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Four full hours of activities and entertainment with a PARADE theme.
- Try your hand at walking on stilts.
- See a demonstration from a real stilt-walker.
- Make a mask and a costume. - Make noise with your own instruments.
- Make a banner to carry! - Learn to juggle (or at least try).
- Join in a parade around the AAC grounds.
- All of this and much more!
Just some of the many activities you can enjoy at Kidsfest 2005
Best of all, the whole event is FREE! Yes, all the crafts and entertainment are free of charge!
Our concession stand will be open during the event offering hot dogs and popcorn for 50 cents each and pop for $1 per bottle. You are also welcome to pack a picnic to enjoy on our grounds during the event. Bring your family and enjoy the time together.
WITH BRIDGE STREET BRASS
The Bridge Street Brass will kick off this summer’s Brown Bag Concert Series with two performances. On Wednesday, July 6th, the band will perform at North Gazebo Park in downtown Ashtabula. The following day, July 7th, the group will appear at the Village Park in Jefferson. All Brown Bag concerts begin at noon and admission is free. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and pack a picnic lunch to enjoy as you listen to the music.
The Bridge Street Brass is one of Ohio’s finest brass quintets. They perform music from baroque to Broadway. Featured performers are Jerry Benson on trumpet, Gail Collister on french horn, Doug Burdick on trombone, Michelle Falcione on trumpet and Andy Stevenson on tuba.
The rain site for Ashtabula performances is the First Presbyterian Church on Park Ave. The rain site for Jefferson performances will be the United Methodist Church adjacent to the park.
By Debbie Venable
Summer is finally here and our Straw Hat Theatre season got off to a flying start with "Peter Pan." "Thank you! Thank you!" to all of the
volunteers who made this possible. What an energetic and fun group of people to be working with and what a great way to spend a summer evening!
As the season progresses, we will continue to need
volunteer help with the box office, ushering, the concession stand and raffles for the upcoming shows. We could also use help with behind the scene projects like costumes and sets. If you have culinary talents, you could assist us with dinners or baked good donations for art exhibit openings.
The Arts Center is currently busy with summer classes and our Multi-Arts Day Camp for kids. In addition to all of this energy and activity, we will be having our annual Kids Fest on August 6th. If you would like to help with this event, we guarantee a fun day with the kids and great hot dogs!
Please stop by the Arts Center or give me a call at (440) 964-3396. We'll be happy to find a niche for you and your talents!
July marks the beginning of the Arts Center’s fiscal year and with it our continued efforts to successfully complete our annual membership/fund drive for that year. As of mid-June we had only reached 56% of the dollars needed by the Center to achieve our break-even budget status for this fiscal year. Our goal for this year is to raise $123,000 (just $3,000 more than was actually raised last fiscal year).
By now you should have received a request for your support in the mail. We ask that you seriously consider even a small donation to the Center. If all of those on our mailing list (approximately 5,000) would do so, we would insure this goal. Obviously, larger donations are most appreciated!
The Arts Center has expenses just like you all do at home. Our utility, insurance, telephone, health insurance, etc., expenses have risen just like everybody’s. By only budgeting a $3,000 increase in what we hope to raise, you can readily tell the Center’s staff has done more than its part in planning to deepen and expand earned income.
I know a lot of you have experienced my pleas before, but I do so out of true necessity. All of your donated dollars stay right here in our regional area.
We have already been advised our annual support from the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) will be cut again this year. As recently as six years ago the Arts Center was receiving close to $28,000/year from the OAC. Last fiscal year we only received a little over $16,000, and the State of Ohio is in no better shape this year. The Arts Center was rated in the top 5% of Ohio’s community arts agencies again at this year’s grants panel. We have a lot of which to be proud! Unfortunately, receiving this high rating doesn’t translate to higher dollars.
The Arts Center is asking you to PLEASE consider contributing to our membership/fund drive. We NEED your support. All of us extend our deepest THANKS to you for your help.
At one hundred yards long, the colorful new mural which graces the wall of the Ashtabula YMCA's north parking lot is a sight that will be enjoyed for years to come.
The project was the idea of the Ashtabula Arts Center's Visual Arts Coordinator, Meeghan Humphrey. Meeghan, who is also the art teacher for students of Action Academy felt that the mural would make a great service project for the students.
Local artist Ralph Bacon donated the design that reflects the YMCA's dedication to youth programming. The mural depicts groups of children swimming, playing soccer and other sports. In the center of the wall are the words "Every Kid Deserves a YMCA."
When the mural was completed, the students returned to the YMCA to complete one last thing-each student signed his or her name in the lower left hand corner.
YMCA's executive director Carol Molnar, was pleased to see the mural get so much attention. "The reaction from the community has been absolutely phenomenal," Molnar said. "The members who saw it in progress were just amazed by the dedication shown by the kids. When they started it, we had some very cold days but they worked right through them. Since its completion, people have been driving into the parking lot to look at it and have then called to tell us how spectacular they think it is.
If you’ve not yet seen this latest Arts Center project drive over and take a look!
Kids can get in the action this summer with specialized camps and classes designed just for their age groups!
This class is designed to introduce children to the arts and to some of the skills that they will need when they attend school. The children will have an art, music and dance component during each session. They will also have a short snack break. All of the teachers will work on group skills such as socialization, following instructions, taking turns, playing fair and respect for one another. These skills will be learned in a creative atmosphere that encourages success and building self-confidence. Frequently, the lesson plans will be carried through all three components with a related theme or story. The Music Component will introduce: songs finger play rhymes using your voice counting organized rhythm beginning instruments The Dance Component will introduce: rhythm controlling gross motor skills coordination stories and movement balance relating movement to music qualities of movement imagination exercises The Art Component will introduce: colors numbers cutting gluing painting drawing sculpture relating art to a story proper use and care of materials Each session limited to 10 students. Early registration is recommended.
By Debbie Venable
As we wrap up our GB Theatre season, I would like to thank our volunteers for all their time and effort. In the short time I have been at the Arts Center I have learned how essential your help is to having events run smoothly. It has been great meeting so many of you and renewing some old acquaintances. Some of you are seasoned AAC volunteers and have been nice enough to "show me the ropes." Thank you so very much for volunteering!
Although April started off with a nasty snowstorm, I think spring is finally here! At home we are busy getting things ready for a bountiful summer garden with a variety of vegetables and flowers. Even though this garden means considerable time and effort on our part, we know it is worth the enjoyment that we will reap well into the winter months. Here at the Arts Center we too are busy getting things ready for a variety of summer activities: Straw Hat Theatre, summer camps, summer lessons, etc. We will need volunteers to usher for Straw Hat, run the concession stands and help with summer camp. Won't you consider spending some of your time with us? In addition to helping the Arts Center out, you will likely make new friends and have fun!
We have volunteers of all ages and talents and lots of jobs to be done. For students who need community service hours, this is a fun way to put in your time.Please feel free to stop by the Arts Center or give me a call at (440) 964-3396. Together we will find the job that best fits your interests and talents. Looking forward to a fun and busy summer!
Needed: People to make or donate cookies, cheese ball/crackers, fruit platters, veggie trays and other hors d’oeuvres.
Straw Hat Theatre
June 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19
“JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR”
June 24, 25, 26 July 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17
Needed: ushers, concessions workers and box office help. Sign up sheets are located at the front desk of the Arts Center.
Captain Hook, that dastardly one armed pirate, will chase the ever young Peter Pan across the stage as Straw Hat Theatre kicks off its 39th season on June 10. �Peter Pan� will run for seven performances, June 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18 and 19. All shows will begin at 8:00 p.m.
This favorite family classic tells the familiar story of the little boy who refused to grow up and who spends his time foiling villainous pirates and leading a troop of little lost boys in perennial need of a mother. This musical version begins in the nursery of the Darling family�s home. It isn�t long before the parents, played by Ralph Bacon of Ashtabula and Jennifer Dubeansky of Mentor, say goodnight. Then strange and wonderous things begin to happen! Peter Pan, played by Lara Heinz of Austinburg, and his faithful fairy friend, Tinkerbell, played by Julia Hines of North Kingsville, convince the three children, Wendy, John and Michael, played by Caitlin Rose of Madison, Jackson Ruane of Ashtabula and Caitlyn Dubeansky of Mentor, to take an adventurous journey to the enchanted island of Lost Boys otherwise known as Neverland. There, Peter and the children befriend Neverland�s resident Indians and battle the comically malevolent pirates led by Captain Hook played by Ralph Bacon. But alas! The children are kidnapped by the sinister pirate and we wonder if they�ll ever regain their freedom! Adding to the adventure is the ticking crocodile played by Megan Hull of Perry, Hook�s sidekick, Smee, played by Jonathan Rose of Madison, as well as all of the other favorite characters that adults will remember from their favorite childhood story.
Also appearing in the show will be: Devon Shriver of Bristolville as Tiger Lily; Sara Ruane of Ashtabula as Liza; Mary Spinelli of Perry as the adult Wendy; Laura Cole of Jefferson as Jane; Emmy Stowell of Ashtabula as Nana; Mahalia Bunch of Ashtabula as the Lion; Jarrod Sickles of Geneva as the Ostrich; Erin McNeil of Conneaut as the Kangaroo. The lost boys will be played by: Garrett Bacon of Ashtabula, Michael Ellis of Geneva, Jennifer Giangola of Ashtabula, Nicole Giangola of Ashtabula, Joseph Johnson of Ashtabula and Danny Moore of Ashtabula. Pirates will be played by: Connor Bacon of Ashtabula, Kristie Beilach of Geneva, Calvin Haines of Ashtabula, Tom Hall of Geneva, Tank Jackson of Ashtabula, Emily Kline of Conneaut, Adam Peggs of Ashtabula and Mary Spinelli of Perry. Indians will be played by: Pricilla Clark of Geneva, Laura Cole of Jefferson, Jordan Johnson of Ashtabula, Alyx Lynham of Ashtabula, Max Ruane of Ashtabula, Morgan Ruane of Ashtabula, Jarrod Sickles of Geneva and Emily Tramte of Geneva.
�Peter Pan� has served as a musical rite of passage for generations of children. Based on the 1902 novel �The Little White Bird,� by James M. Barrie, the play opened in 1904 and became a hit both in London and New York. In 1954, the musical version opened starring Mary Martin and Cyril Ritchard. Nine days after the show closed, it aired as a two hour NBC tonight special watched by an estimated 70 million viewers. Since then, countless stage productions have continuously kept �Peter Pan� alive in the hearts and minds of young and old alike.
The show will be performed on the Straw Hat Theatre stage, 2928 West 13th Street in Ashtabula. Tickets are on sale now. Patron seating $12, Adults $10, Seniors $9 and Students and Children $8. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling the Ashtabula Arts Center at (440) 964-3396.
Welcome warm weather!!! We’ve all been waiting and waiting and waiting – and you’re finally here. Accompanying this annual occurrence, the Arts Center is gearing up fast and furious for our whirlwind summer activities. And this means – WE NEED YOU!
Summer is our highest constant activity time – we produce 13 straight weeks of theatre, summer kids fest, at least two sessions of summer camp, numerous classes, etc. All of these activities mean our volunteer requirements are very high.
In readiness for our outdoor season, Phil Mullet is gathering “the troops” to help with our Straw Hat Theatre clean-up and move-out on Saturday, April 30th at 9:00 A.M. If you can come for even an hour to help, please call Phil at the Center at 964-3396. Many hands make light work – and we need all the help we can get!
During the theatre season, we typically need at least 6 ushers per performance, as well as 2-3 in the concession stand, as well as 1-2 in the box office, as well as 1-2 sellers of 50/50 raffle tickets. Just those numbers come up to more than 500 volunteers needed for the summer.
Kids Fest, which will be held the first Saturday in August, typically needs 20-30 volunteers to man art activities, help with set up and clean up and assist in the concession stand.
Summer camps and classes utilize fewer volunteers, most of which are recruited by each department’s coordinator due to varying schedules and needs.
What do you get when you volunteer? Number one is just being a very special part of the Arts Center’s family – we know we would not succeed without your help, and you are very important to us. If you work on a show, you will receive a seat at that evening’s show if one is available. If we happen to be sold out that night, we hope you will understand – that’s why we’re here and that’s what pays the bills! More than anything, you have our gratitude. THANK YOU!! We hope you will join us soon and often, please call 964-3396 for more information. Debbie Venable is our Volunteer Coordinator. She will be glad to tell you more about any volunteer opportunities available!!
Gracias, Merci, Thank You, again!!