Group examines future state of the arts
for future activi-
State College, and Centre County as well,”
by Adam Eshleman
“Much of a satisfying life, I
ties,” she said.
because it draws both national and local
Often, when the economy goes to war on
“It was very excit-
think, is art; the making of
a people, the arts are the first casualty.
ing,” said Elaine
“I’d love to see more local acts in the
it if you can, the savoring of
Yet, months before anyone could believe
M e d e r - Wi l g u s ,
State Theatre, but right now it’s a problem
it if you can’t.”
how rough it would get, a campus group
owner of Webster’s.
of economics,” Negra said of the future. He
launched the Arts in Public Life project to
“We had an amazing
also said he’d like to have local charities,
Mayor of State College
focus on the role of art in this community.
mix of people from
such as THON, use the theater for fundrais-
The group plans to raise community aware-
ness with regard to the arts, to ensure they
grounds with differ-
Arts groups were not the only ones at the
will continue to flourish throughout the
meeting. The State College Downtown
attended the symposium.
region even during the tough times.
Mike Negra, exec-
Improvement District—a group dedicated to
“I was simply there to hear what folks
In December, AIPL hosted a public sym-
utive director of the
ensuring the prosperity of State College—
had to say and offer my couple of com-
posium, titled “Live Arts/Downtown Life,”
State Theatre, came to discuss the impor-
also has a stake in the future of regional arts.
ments based on being the oldest living
at Webster’s Bookstore in State College to
tance of his theater as a community asset
At the meeting, the group’s new executive
inhabitant,” he said with a laugh. “This was
begin a preliminary discussion of art in
and its role as a “facilitator of other people’s
director, Jody Alessandrine, delivered a pres-
all very preliminary, with the aim of should
Centre County. About 30 community mem-
entation detailing the economic advantages
a group be formed and who would it be.”
bers and representatives of regional organi-
“I liked it because all these people that
offered by a vibrant art scene.
Welch added that public art installations
are interested in the arts as a whole, which I
Alessandrine said people who prefer to
such as the murals and sculptures in down-
“We started to lay out what we all thought
personally believe holds a big key to the
shop downtown appreciate the arts as well.
town State College could be more visible.
was happening, what some of the benefits
future of downtown State College, were all
“When you’re talking about downtowns,
He said he’d like to see the “First Thursday”
and opportunities were and also what some
in one room, thinking towards how we can
and you’re talking about offering variety of
program, which promotes public art events
of what the difficulties were,” said Gabeba
attract audiences and how we can offer
appeals, that goes hand in glove with having
the first Thursday of every month, expand-
Baderoon, leader of the AIPL project fund-
alternative art forms and maintain venues
a variety of artistic disciplines,” he said after
ed into an institution that features events
ed by the Penn State Institute for the Arts
such as the State Theatre,” Negra said later.
the symposium. “It’s natural for us to be a
“It was a way of creating
The State Theatre, Negra said, serves as a
part of any initiative to promote the arts.”
channels of communication and also a basis
“hub of community performing arts for
State College Mayor Bill Welch also
, pg. 22
Galaxy provides schools stellar art class enrichment
10, for the past 13 years. CIU 10 is one of
program, she met storytelling artist Jan
by Natalie Ferrigno
29 Intermediate Units here in Pennsylvania.
Kinney and has been collaborating with her
In a time of budget crunches and strict
The units are links between school districts
academic guidelines, some public schools
and the Pennsylvania Department of
A couple of years ago Kuren and Kinney
find it difficult to keep arts programs alive.
worked with a group of students at Park
The Galaxy Program for the Arts, which has
Galaxy also has a partnership with the
Forest Middle School. At first, Kuren was
an office in State College, has been working
Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, which
concerned that self-consciousness would
for the past 33 years to help out, namely
has provided grants to support the residency
hinder students. However, she and Kinney
through their artist-in-residency program.
persisted and were met with stunning
Galaxy currently benefits an estimated
20,000 K-12 students in Centre, Clearfield,
The artists involved with Galaxy find the
The students’ project was to split into
and Clinton Counties. While similar pro-
three groups, tell a story written by a fellow
grams existed before, none were as substan-
“We have a wonderful group of talented
group member, and then dance the story of
tial as the ones happening today.
and dedicated artists,” Assistant Director
another group. One group had to dance the
Program Director Jennene Lundy
Stephanie Hosier said, noting that many of
story of a sheriff’s horse thought to be too
explained artists of any discipline can work
them are full-time, professional artists.
slow to come to the rescue.
in a school for 10 or more days as an indi-
“Our artists are willing to travel sometimes
“I needed a way to visualize the story.
vidual or five or more days as a group.
an hour and a half both ways to get to these
[The students] were terrific,” Kuren said. “I
Galaxy currently benefits approximately
schools to spend an hour, three hours, four
had them pass a movement to another per-
Photo courtesy of Galaxy Program
20,000 K-12 students in Centre, Clearfield,
During a mulitple-day artists in residency, stu-
hours interacting with diverse populations.”
son. They created their own movement and
and Clinton Counties.
dents use clay to tell a story.
Artists also work together to help stu-
pointed to the next person, sort of like if you
“Unfortunately, the arts are too easily dis-
dents gain self-confidence.
were to have a map. They were so sharp
counted,” said Lundy, referring to the lack
Dancer and choreographer Ann Van
of attention many publics schools give to
Lundy has been working for Galaxy, a
Kuren of State College has been working
music, theatre, dance, literature, and visual
non-profit run by Central Intermediate Unit
with Galaxy for several years. Through the
, pg. 22
‘Foxdale Miscellany’ allows retirees creative literary outlet
by Lindsay Chew
works, as well as inspiring every resident to
take up a pen and let their creative writing
For some people, retirement might mean
skills come to life.
long afternoons knitting and evenings of
“It is a nutritional atmosphere,” said
“Murder She Wrote” reruns. But for the
William Tomb, a regular contributor.
writers of the
life is full
The staff meets the fourth Monday of
of exciting new literary exploration.
every month to read their pieces aloud and
is an all-volun-
help one another improve.
teer publication produced and distributed
“We all make suggestions and we’ll all
within the Foxdale Village Retirement
talk about it,” said de Lissovoy.
Community in State College.
“When we started out, there was no edit-
Ranging from retired English teachers to
ing,” said Bunny Moon, a writer. “And now
retired lieutenants of the U.S. Navy, the
we proofread again and again.”
writing staff of the
brings to life
Such a thorough editing process would
this quarterly publication with short essays,
not have been set in place without the guid-
short personal narratives and poetry. The
ance of de Lissovoy. Acting as a backbone
publication also includes children’s stories
, de Lissovoy a retired
as well as pet profiles, creating a surprise
English teacher, has taken a leadership role
for the reader every issue.
. Not only does she writes
for every issue but also proofreads, types
Photo by Lindsay Chew
said Charlotte de Lissovoy, a writer, copy
and edits the publication.
Members of Miscelleny writing staff collaborate on stories. From left to right: Bunny Moon, Amy Weber
editor, and typist for the
“She takes a story, prunes it, changes it,
Paul Bixby, Charlotte de Lissovoy and William Tomb.
staff builds an atmos-
develops it,” said Tomb.
phere of community between all the resi-
Paul Bixby, Foxdale resident, familiar to
student came to Foxdale looking for anyone
dents at Foxdale by abiding by a mission
Not all the writers for the
readers, had no intentions
statement that facilitates the sharing of
intended to become writers when they
thoughts, ideas, and feelings in creative
joined the Foxdale community.
Bixby said he started when a university
, pg. 22
Penn State Downtown Theatre augments art community
by Bridget Monaghan
“[This] is the off off-
Broadway theater of our
With its bright white lights beaming on
College Avenue, the State Theatre stands as
dreams. It’s like 42nd Street
a prominent community performing arts
in New York right here in
venue. But downtown State College offers
another gem of the performing arts world
hidden a few blocks away and around the
--Dan Carter, director
The Penn State Downtown Theatre
Center, nestled modestly among the busi-
nesses on South Allen Street, continues to
differentiate itself from the State Theatre
walked into an old, abandoned department
said Rob Schneider, a theater director and
store on Allen Street and walked out in an
Penn State graduate student.
arrangement with the Woskob family—
Schneider said although the theater is
owners of the building—to renovate the
“constantly” busy on the inside, people pass
space into a theater.
it by because it’s tucked away and not a
“It’s been very exciting and it’s a great
major, more visible venue.
compliment to the Playhouse Theatre and
“What people don’t know is that it’s
the Pavilion Theatre on campus,” Carter
really a small jewel box of a home for the
“[It] provides great entertainment,
arts,” he said.
reveals another window of excellence to the
Now in its fifth year—and launched well
broader community, and makes towns like
Photo by William Wellman
before the reopening of the State Theatre—
State College a great place to live,” he said.
Professional actors perform “Lend me a Tenor” at the Penn State Downtown Theatre during a summer
the theater is the brainchild of Penn State
Schneider said because the theater only
President Graham Spanier.
seats a scant 151 people, the intimate set-
“I felt some responsibility for the univer-
ting it offers sets it apart from any other the-
Mike Negra, executive director of the
Penn State’s School of Music frequently
sity to contribute to the growing entertain-
ater downtown or on campus.
State Theatre, agreed the two theaters aren’t
uses the Downtown Theatre for music
ment corridor downtown and to help rejuve-
In fact, Schneider said the Penn State
in competition and even plan to co-present
events during the beginning of each semes-
nate the viability of the downtown,” Spanier
Downtown Theatre was the perfect setting
“Menopause the Musical” in July.
ter. The space is also used for graduate act-
in an e-mail. “I was able to
for “A Man of No Importance,” a play he
“They are an arm of Penn State during the
ing programs throughout the year.
obtain private gifts to pay for the majority
recently directed which was written for a
school year and present a different brand of
During the summer, the Pennsylvania
of costs, so I think it has been a success all
theater during the summer,” he said. “It all
Centre Stage theater program uses the
“When an audience is watching a show
venue to host professional performances,
Although the university already had two
they are part of the story,” he said.
While it may have fewer amenities than
some featuring Broadway actors.
venues for its school of theater, Spanier said
Some residents worried at the time it
the other theaters in the area, the Penn State
“It’s really exciting for a cast of graduate
the existing theaters were located in dark,
opened that downtown couldn’t support two
Downtown Theatre offers more than a few
students to watch professionals in a profes-
inaccessible areas of campus with limited
venues. But Carter said Penn State Theatre
seats and a stage. Behind its doors, the the-
sional setting,” he said.
does not compete with the State Theatre.
ater hides the Woskob Family Gallery, a
Carter said the theater is similar to many
“The fine and performing arts provide the
They have different missions.
home for various art exhibitions and free
of the places where students are likely to be
soul of a community and a university and it
“We do a lot of long runs and they do
entertainment during lunch hours.
working after graduation.
is important to support and showcase them,”
short runs, but we are great friends,” he
The Penn State box office, where theater-
“The theater is the off off-Broadway the-
said. “They are our friends and neighbors
goers can purchase tickets to nearly every
ater of our dreams,” Carter said. “It’s like
Dan Carter, a director for the school of
and it has made it an even healthier down-
Penn State event, is also located in the
42nd street in New York right here in State
theater, said a few members of his college
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lives and experiences. The latest edition,
titled “Historic Moments Relived,” gave the
, pg. 19
, pg. 20
entire community a chance to depict their
with it...Nobody held back.”
interested in walking with her as a part of a
memories through their pens and garnered a
“Much of a satisfying life, I think, is art;
“Each school community has a different
class assignment. Bixby volunteered and it
particularly strong response.
the making of it if you can, the savoring of
feeling,” said Lundy, pointing out Galaxy
because a regular habit to walk with her.
“We got stories form people that have
it if you can’t,” he said. “It’s always helpful
artists enjoy working at a variety of schools.
However, once she graduated Bixby had no
never written before,” said de Lissovoy. “It
to have these kinds of discussions.”
Mostly, Lundy said, the artists
one to walk with.
gives us more in depth awareness of each
Stimulating this kind of community dis-
enjoy the work because they know they’re
“I tried to walk alone for a while…and
cussion is a big part of AIPL’s mission, but
doing something good. They see results.
started to think about things I could write
Recalling a loved one’s greatest attributes
the project was formed for different reasons.
Some of these experiences can be life-
about,” said Bixby. “It has been fun. Some
with a poem or remembering a personal
Baderoon said she and her coorganizers
changing experiences for students. [They]
make sense, some don’t…but I enjoy it all
hardship through a short narrative, the writ-
Jonathan Eburne and Dorn Hetzel assem-
develop confidence, discovering who they
ers of the
allow themselves the
bled this project as a response to the dimin-
can be through a creative endeavor.”
Others on the staff, however, came onto
share these memories with other residents.
ishing presence of art in the news media.
Lundy said many students who struggle
scene with a resume filled
“There is a lot of reminiscing,” said
“Coverage of the arts has been very drasti-
in the so-called basic academics might find
with previous experience.
Tomb, who explained that it is easy to say
cally affected by changes in the media indus-
they excel in the arts.
Amy Weber, a retired secretary and
an event happened, but harder to explain
try,” she said, adding that, nationwide, news-
Working with a storytelling artist, for
writer, fell into place as a regular writer for
what happened. It is how you saw the event
papers and other media have cut coverage of
instance, can help a student who dislikes
when she moved into
that makes the difference, he said.
the arts in response to dwindling revenue.
reading take an interest in books. That same
Foxdale. Weber, who wrote for her home-
The memories of the residents bring the
The group aims to begin discussions of this
artist can help a shy student gain public
town paper in her youth, has applied those
past to life in the
. The heart of
phenomenon, and in so doing, change the
skills and painted the pages of the
the publication lies within each of these
way we as a culture think about the arts.
“Students will learn math concepts
with colorful detail and witty
writers and their willingness to forgo their
“If we stop paying attention to the arts,
through dance or paper cutting, history
fear of sharing and to embrace their words.
they will slowly stop being a central part of
through theatre, multi-culturalism through
“I was always interested in newspaper
“Your memories, as you get older get
our lives,” she said. “I think that is going to
any of the art forms,” Hosier said.
writing and that is how I learned to write,”
very sharp,” said Bixby.
“You may not
be a huge and regrettable change for us all.”
“[The program] is a win for students. It’s
“The five Ws in the first para-
remember the exact words but you remem-
AIPL’s next event will be Feb. 9 in 102
a win in the educational realm. It’s a win
graph and go from there.”
ber the images. It is my memory…It may
Kern Building, at Penn State. It will feature
for teachers. It’s a win for society,” Lundy
Many of the pieces found in the
not be the same as the person next to me but
nationally recognized bloggers.
come from the writers’ personal
it is what I remember.”
The State Theatre
Let the Circle Be Wide
Rachel Getting Married
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
A fantasic celtic show, just
in time for St. Patrick’s Day!
Trouble the Water
" ! &
Average White Band
2nd Annual “Out of the Cold”
Akeelah and the Bee
The Betrayal -
Artie Shaw Orchestra
The Cooperative Playschool
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