Monday, June 30, 2008

Huzzah!

Well, we made it through the final, sell-out weekend of OVST's production of Steel Magnolias. The show was fantastic and the ladies are troupers for putting up with the heat under those lights! Good news is; even now people are working over my head to install the new air conditioning units. I am hoping that they don't fall through the ceiling because that sure would be awkward.

Things to keep in mind:
1) New a/c is going to be tops compared to 24 year old a/c!

2) Lynette and Wendy are at the Dairy Barn art center helping the 11-17 year olds with a Humble Play: Youth Division Playwriting workshop.

3) OVST performing art camp starts on Monday. www.ovst.org

4) APE Camp starts on July 28. www.apecenter.org

5) Humble Play application for Adult and Company divisions must be postmarked by July 1. www.myspace.com/humbleplay

6) Aquabear Legions Live at ARTS/West on July 12: http://www.aquabearlegion.com/

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Humble Play Workshops

Hey you 11-17 year kids

It’s not too late to sign up for the

Humble Play: Appalachian new play festival youth division playwriting workshops!

HUMBLE PLAY WORKSHOPS

Where, When, and With Whom

Monday, June 30, 1-3 p.m., The Dairy Barn
Tuesday, July 15, 1-3 p.m., ARTS/West
Led by Wendy McVicker and Lynette Peck
Call ARTS/West (740) 592-4315 to register

Goals and Expectations

The goal of the Humble Play Playwriting Workshops is to help you work toward completing a short play.

You do not need to have begun writing before the first workshop. We’ll spend time talking about the writing process and about the special needs of plays. We’ll read at least one short published play and analyze it as we go. This will help us to develop our critical eye. In order to become good writers, we work on becoming good readers. Then we’ll get started on our own plays.

We’ll give you some things to work on during the two-week break. When we come back together for the second workshop, we’ll look at each other’s work. This can be intimidating, but it can also be fun. AND it’s an essential part of the writing process. The expectation is that this work will be unfinished—so if it’s a page, ten pages, or just one exchange between two characters, that’s fine. It’s where we all begin.

Things to keep in mind

Where do ideas come from?

They come from everyday life! Here’s a suggestion: start keeping a notebook this very minute. Have it with you all the time. Write down ideas, observations, quirky things/people you see, snippets of conversation you overhear. Let your mind go. Explore. Texture is often what makes a play; your everyday observations can provide you with texture, as well as with the larger ideas of plot and relationship.

How do I get started?

Many writers say they don’t think about the final product during the first draft. They don’t think about stage directions, setting, or even plot. They begin with a situation, add some characters, and let them talk. A lot of what emerges won’t make it to the final cut. That’s okay. It’s a good idea not to be too attached to the words that come pouring out in the first draft. The important thing is to let them pour.

What good is criticism?

Criticism doesn’t have to be negative. When we hear others respond to our writing, we enter an outsider’s viewpoint. This can give us sudden and exciting clarity about our work. In the workshop, we’ll talk about ways of using criticism to widen our views and take the creative leaps necessary to progress.

We take it for granted that all criticism is kindly and honestly meant. This is everyone’s responsibility, and one that comes back to us.

The Contract:

We accept absolutely that each and every piece of writing has merit, and it is that merit that we are aiming to locate and help bring to life. We will consider the following questions: What is this piece trying to do? In what ways does it succeed, and in what ways does it need work? How can we help this particular piece to move forward? It is understood that every comment is merely a suggestion; the writer decides which suggestions to take up and which to abandon.

And, don’t forget about:

OVST’s- Summer Youth Theater Program

Ohio Valley Summer Theater presents a new program to nurture students in the development of age appropriate theatrical knowledge and skills. Participants will have an opportunity to explore performance and/or technical production and artistry. Individual growth and development is the goal. Open to primary grade through early high school students, the program will take place July 7-25. Classes will be held M, W, and F, 9am - 1pm. The program will culminate on Saturday, July 26 with a free demonstration performance sharing with family and friends the knowledge and skills learned. Sign-up and fee structure information is available at www.ovst.org.

APE Center- SUMMER THEATER CAMP 2008!!!

The APE Center, with the support from ARTS/West and The Dairy Barn, offers a creative week of self-esteem, cooperation and team-building skills enhancing theater program for children and youth in GRADES K-10. Participants will learn HOW A THEATER SHOW COMES TO BEING – not only through the actors/actresses but
through the efforts of a large team offstage.

The sessions will take place at ARTS/West, every day MONDAY, JULY 28th through FRIDAY, AUGUST 1st from 9am – 4pm, with a free presentation of the SHOWS on SATURDAY afternoon, AUGUST 2nd in ARTS/West. Check their website at www.apecenter.org.

To register, please go to www.apecenter.org. Fill in the "Summer Theater Camp" forms.
For more information, please ask at info@apecenter.org.

Maximum group size for both younger and older children is 15.

For a complete listing of classes, workshops, and meetings please call during our semi-regular office hours Tue.-Fri. 11-4 at (740) 592-4315 or go to www.myspace.com/artswestathens . Check out our blog for all of the latest www.artswest.blogspot.com

Many thanks to The Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Athens Foundation, The OU Credit Union, The Hocking Valley Bank, The Ohio Arts Council, The Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission, The Ohio University School of Music, Magic Video, our Olympian Founders, individual donors and the time donated by our army of volunteers, for making this possible.

The mission of ARTS/West is to make facilities, resources, and opportunities available to arts organizations, individual artists, and community residents. ARTS/West harnesses community focus for all individuals engaged in the creation, performance and exhibition of the arts and promotes activities preserving the beauty, heritage and culture of our town

The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this organization with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summer CAMPS!

ARTS/West is playing host to 2, count 'em, 2 performing arts camps this summer.

1 is hosted by the Ohio Valley Summer Theater (OVST)
1 is hosted by the Appalachian Progressive Education Center (APE Center)
2 are going to be awesome.

OVST’s- Summer Youth Theater Program

Ohio Valley Summer Theater presents a new program to nurture students in the development of age appropriate theatrical knowledge and skills. Participants will have an opportunity to explore performance and/or technical production and artistry. Individual growth and development is the goal. Open to primary grade through early high school students, the program will take place July 7-25. Classes will be held M, W, and F, 9am - 1pm. The program will culminate on Saturday, July 26 with a free demonstration performance sharing with family and friends the knowledge and skills learned. Sign-up and fee structure information is available at www.ovst.org.

APE Center- SUMMER THEATER CAMP 2008!!!

The APE Center, with the support from ARTS/West and The Dairy Barn, offers a creative week of self-esteem, cooperation and team-building skills enhancing theater program for children and youth in GRADES K-10. Participants will learn HOW A THEATER SHOW COMES TO BEING – not only through the actors/actresses but
through the efforts of a large team offstage.

The sessions will take place at ARTS/West, every day MONDAY, JULY 28th through FRIDAY, AUGUST 1st from 9am – 4pm, with a free presentation of the SHOWS on SATURDAY afternoon, AUGUST 2nd in ARTS/West. Check their website at www.apecenter.org.

To register, please go to www.apecenter.org. Fill in the "Summer Theater Camp" forms.
For more information, please ask at info@apecenter.org.

Maximum group size for both younger and older children is 15.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Economic Stimulus

If you are on the fence about what to do with your Economic Stimulus check I have a great idea- donate it to ARTS/West! Because we are a municipal organization your donations are tax-deductible. Also, we need a new air conditioner so what better time to donate. Still on the fence? Try the following.

ARTS/West, a division of the City of Athens Arts, Parks, and Recreation Department, is requesting $25,000 for the replacement of malfunctioning HVAC systems at ARTS/West.

1. History of the Organization

Mission Statement

The mission of ARTS/West is to make facilities, resources, and opportunities available to artists and community residents of Athens, OH. The facility is a centralized hub situated in an evolving arts district on the west side of Athens. ARTS/West nurtures and facilitates the community’s ability to create, perform, and exhibit art of all kinds, while promoting activities that preserve the beauty, heritage, and regional flavor of our town.

History and Current Activities

In 2004, the Athens Municipal Arts Commission and the City of Athens chartered a task force to find and create a performing arts facility that would fill the void left by the demolition of the old Athens Recreation Center. In 2005, on the advice of The Arts Facilities Task Force and with funding from a community block grant, the City of Athens purchased the former Church of the Nazarene and transformed the sanctuary into a versatile performance space, ideal for music, dance, and theatre performances of all kinds. Since June 2005, ARTS/West has hosted within our facility the Appalachian Regional Theatre Company (ARTCO), The Studio for Young Actors, The Athens Photographic Project, the Ki-En Crew, Ohio Valley Summer Theater, Factory Street Dance Studio, Athenian Players’ Theater, Kid’s Music Club, Wayang Kulit, Inlet Dance Theatre, Athens Vineyard Fellowship, Young Life of Athens County, Hocking Valley Nature Conservatory, The Farm DIY, Noise Shows, Westside Community Association, ANNNA, South Side Community Association, and many more. ARTS/West currently offers educational programs through partnerships with Home Schoolers, Laura Nadeau with Music Together, Front and Center Kid’s Open Stage with Tricia Lachman, and the Appalachian Progressive Education Center. We serve every community theater in Athens, produce an Appalachian New Play Festival each fall, and a Westside Community Art Festival (ARTOberfest) each October.

Project Need Statement

ARTS/West was created to address public concerns over the lack of a facility space capable of serving a variety of performing arts needs, especially following the demolition of the old recreation center on East State Street. Since the creation of the Arts Facility Task Force by the Athens Municipal Arts Commission in 2004 and the subsequent purchase and renovation of the former Nazarene Church that would become ARTS/West in 2005, our facility has held an average of 510 public events per year, serving an estimated 20,000 people each year through classes, workshops, performances, rental activities, and special events.

With the help of a CBGD grant, ARTS/West has recently installed a new boiler system, bringing us from 45% energy efficiency in heating the building to 98% efficiency. While this is an important step in addressing ARTS/West’s sustainability, it is only part of the solution. During performances of Lost Flamingo Company’s Bat Boy: The Musical the ceiling started to leak onto the actors during a scene. The compressors were turned off forcing the capacity audience (175 not including staff and actors) to sit in the performance space for the remainder of the show as temperatures exceeded 84 degrees. In September of 2007, during a performance, two of our HVAC units (installed in 1984) made a loud noise and ceased functioning, leaving ARTS/West without a reliable method of cooling the building or maintaining proper humidity levels in the performance space. Additionally, the performance space is lacking in sufficient insulation in the ceiling structure – leaving us vulnerable to extreme temperature fluctuations during both the heat and the cold. Not only does this present difficulties in keeping our audiences comfortable during the heat of Athens’ summers, but it also presents a danger to the delicate sound and lighting equipment in our space, as well as the baby grand piano that resides on our stage, on permanent loan from Gene Jennings. Replacing and repairing equipment damaged by the unstable temperature in the space is an expense that ARTS/West cannot support on a day to day basis. In order to remain a viable, efficient, and sustainable home for local performing and visual artists, ARTS/West must install new, energy efficient HVAC units in our performance space and new, high-efficiency insulation to protect the space.

Project Description

ARTS/West, located at 132 West State Street, seeks to install new HVAC units to serve our performance space and energy-efficient insulation in the ceiling, allowing us to lower overall energy costs throughout the year.

The Athens Municipal Arts Commission requests a total of $25,000 to fund the purchase and installation of a new HVAC system and insulation, with the goal of lowering overall costs, increasing energy efficiency, and meeting the standards laid out by the Cool Cities Act of the Sierra Club. ARTS/West seeks to have the new system installed immediately, in order that we may be ready for the hot summer months and to prevent and humidity and heat related damage to our sound, lighting, and musical equipment, including the donated baby grand piano.

Objectives

The goal of installing a new HVAC system for ARTS/West is to have a functional air-conditioning system in operation before the warm months of Spring, Summer and Fall, without which it will be impossible for ARTS/West to continue programming. The goal of installing energy-efficient insulation in our performance space is both to protect the electrical and musical equipment in our space from fluctuating temperatures and humidity, while allowing us to lower heating and cooling costs and become a “greener” organization overall. Installing the system and insulation will have several concurrent effects to our operations:

1. It will become a sustainable benefit to the City’s investment in the facility of ARTS/West by allowing us to control the temperature and humidity of the space in a cost-effective manner, while saving on the repair costs that would be incurred by an environment with unregulated temperature.

2. It will allow us to continue to offer programming, including innovative arts education programs through organizations like the Appalachian Progressive Education Center, throughout the hot summer months. The revenue earned from tuition and rental fees from these programs will, in turn, help us remain economically sustainable without becoming a burden to Athens City taxpayers

Project Sustainability

By giving us the ability to produce performances, classes, and workshops year-round, the installation of a new HVAC system and insulation will allow us to continue to generate rental, fee, and tuition income during times when we would otherwise be closed – a portion of which will be allotted within each yearly budget to pay for repairs and maintenance on the new equipment. Additionally, funds from Community Block Development Grants and the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission have been allotted for the installation of a new boiler (completed September 2007) and new windows (to be completed January 2008), which will contribute to overall energy-efficiency throughout the building and to the longevity of the new HVAC and insulation systems. ARTS/West will also continue to raise community donations with the help of AMAC from direct-mail fundraising campaigns and fundraising events held in the facility to maintain the condition of the building and equipment.

So, what do you think? Please contact Emily, Program Specialist in her office if you think you can help. Then please come and enjoy the Ohio Valley Summer Theaters presentation of Steel Magnolias June 19-29 (www.ovst.org), OVST's summer camp and the Appalachian Progressive Educations Summer Camp.

Thank you!


Saturday, June 07, 2008

Baby, it's hot out there

If you are coming to Bat Boy: The Musical tonight 6/7, at 7pm, (and I really think you should!) dress lightly-it's hot. I'm sorry it is so freakishly hot outside and in the words of Scotty "She [the AC] can't take much more of this!" Now, I'll have to go and watch my Star Trek DVDs to see if Scotty ever actually said that but if he didn't, he would now. I'm not gonna lie to you, even I don't need a sweater in there.

Seriously, we are doing all we can. All the air conditioning units were serviced on Friday and are in as good of working order as they can be. We had a condensation problem on Friday night that should be taken care of today. We have Azaguno day of dance (http://www.azaguno.com/) all day today- Saturday and Lost Flamingo's Bat Boy tonight. Think of it as an Amazonian adventure without the snakes. And bring a personal Church fan.