Thursday, May 31, 2012

Humble Play: New Play Festival in Appalachian Ohio

2012 Call for Submissions

ARTS/West, The Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble, and The Corporation for the Performing Arts announce applications for HUMBLE PLAY: New Play Festival of Appalachian Ohio

ARTS/West, Athens community gateway to the arts, 132 W. State St., is partnering with the Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble, the Corporation for the Performing Arts and the Athens Community to present the 7th Annual HUMBLE PLAY: NEW PLAY FESTIVAL OF APPALACHIAN OHIO, this coming October 4-6, 2012, and they are pleased to invite submissions from adventurous playwrights.

Acknowledging gifted writers with new plays that speak to a regional audience, ARTS/West will open its doors for these new works October 4-6, 2012.

The 2011 Festival featured: playwright mentor Raymond Hardie; The Charity Fish Fry Tinikling Show by K. Biadaszkiewicz (Michigan); What Ever Happened to Baby Abby by Merri Biechler (Guysville, OH); The Ohio University School of theater presents Midnight Madness; An Unlikely Hero by Lawrence DuKore (New York, NY); Death Squad by W.R. Smiddie (Pomeroy, OH)

PARTICIPATION: We are seeking plays that will highlight the work of playwrights from across the nation and will, in turn, highlight the actors and directors of our Appalachian region through play development/production in our area, at the ARTS/West facility during the festival. We accept full-length, one acts, musicals, ten minutes, i.e. your best work.

APPLICATIONS: Applications will be accepted from March 9 to June 1, 2012.

Applications are available HERE and at the ARTS/West office, 132 W. State St., Athens, OH, and by requesting one via EMAIL

Submission Fees accepted through our pay pal account:

Title of Play Submitted

We only accept electronic submissions via email and there is a $5 application fee.

Many thanks to the The Ohio Arts Council and the Humble Play Committee for making this festival possible.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Man Forever this Saturday at ARTS/West

Photo borrowed from Metropulse

Dark Circles Records presents Man Forever this Saturday, June 2nd at ARTS/West.

Man Forever is the ambient percussion-based project of Kid Millions, the drummer of Oneida.

“When Kid Millions plays the drums, it’s all about stamina. He has built a career on percussive longevity, bashing away at his instrument for hours on end with fury and expert precision. For 13 years he has been the anchor of the Brooklyn band Oneida, whose songs mix hypnotic Minimalism with skull-rattling metal and tend to hit their pulsating stride only around the 15-minute mark," writes Ben Sissario of The New York Times.

Also performing will be:
Alchemelion: Chris Lee's keys-based solo project 
Dead Winds of Summer: Electronic/guitar ambient mass
a possible stripped-down performance by Valleyboys.

"Man Forever is inherently awesome because it is a non-improvised performance involving musicians that have likely never worked together, collaborating on a piece that was put together by an excellent composer, said Chris Lute. "I also think it's important to note the emphasis on texture and timbre in Man Forever over melody, and the freedom that gives the piece."
Lute plays with Valleyboys and was one of the integral players in bringing Man Forever to Athens and ARTS/West.

Come see the Brooklyn-based Man Forever and other performers at 5 p.m.

The show is free but donations will be taken and records will be available for purchase!

Make sure to join the Facebook event here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bye Ashley. Hello Janice.

It seems like such a long time since young Ashley Johnson joined our team as an intern back in 2007.  Since then she has served as a technician, stage manager, production manager, producer, founding team member of Creative Endeavors Workshop and finally our Events Coordinator back in 2009 (is that right!).  Ashley helped develop and launch our Volunteer Service Program.  She literally wrote the Facilities Handbook.  She has also formalized our rental contract and invoicing process.  She's a gem.  Why all the praise?  Well, the time has come for her to move on from Athens.  We will miss her terribly, but wish her all the best!

However it's not all bad: Janice Paxson Evans has joined the ranks at ARTS/West. You may have seen Janice as an actor with Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble, a mom volunteering at West Elementary, or a worker bee selling paw paw products for Integration Acres at the Paw Paw Fest. Her juggling act has just expanded to include the Events Coordinator position previously held by the inimitable Ashley Johnson. Therefore if you’re looking to rent space at ARTS/West for your event or performance, Janice will now be the one to help you make that happen.



Saturday, May 26, 2012

For our friend Steve

 Dear Friends,

I often get wrapped up in all that we're doing and all our art events and my life and my schedule and I forget about the individuals and the artists who are working so hard to put these things together.  Their passion, their creativity, and their live's blood. 
This week we lost a friend.  Steve Fetsch has been a huge part of ARTS/West and the creation of our events and our community arts.  Steve played an integral part of our first community art collaboration "Angels and Wings" directed and choreographed by Missy Whaley in 2007.   He taught videography in community workshops, documented the entire process, designed the media presentations, and was a supportive member of the team.  I was honored to meet him during the process and I was honored to thenceforward call him friend.
Steve continued to turn up here and there as director of photography of films that were screened, as a collaborator through the Athens Children's Museum, and most recently we began working on a new project, an adaptation of the film "Duck Soup."  The last time I saw his was full of 70 minutes of laughter and I'm happy to remember Steve this way.

ARTS/West is seeking donations of hand made paper but more importantly stories, poems, letters, drawings, etc. to help us celebrate the life Steve Fetsch.  A memorial service is being held on June 2 at The Dairy Barn.   We will be collecting your art, stories, letters, poems, etc. that we will display at the memorial and then bind them in a book to give to his two children.
Ideally we will have enough paper here at ARTS/West to allow people to pick up paper there and either join us at the memorial with their completed memories or drop them off here at ARTS/West.  We will also have paper available at the memorial service for people to share there.

Please feel free to email us, send us text documents, or whatever makes you comfortable.  
Please share this with whomever you feel is appropriate.  ARTS/West will be closed on Monday but we will be open Tues.-Fri. 10-4.  We currently have a limited supply of handmade paper, and are seeking more.  

Thank you,


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ratha Con (Athens' first Comic Con) 5/26/12

Ratha Con (Athens' first Comic Con) 5/26/12 (this event does not take place at ARTS/West!)

Ratha Con Schedule of events

Saturday, May 26th

10 am - 12 pm:
Athens Public Library 30 Home St. Athens. 
Panel Discussion with Sandy Plunkett, Steve Richter, Chris Monday and Carl Wyckaert. Discussion will explore the past, present, and future of comics and graphic novels with comic artists and the collector whose collection is part of The Dairy Barn's Beyond Words exhibit.  This is the opening event of Ratha Con.

12 pm - 7 pm:
Athens Community Center 701 E. State St. Athens
ARTS/West presents a day of comics, sci fi and fantasy at the Athens Community Center.  There will be comic artists, panel discussions, vendors, gaming, displays, Steampunk Ballet, Kiser's BBQ Shack and much, much more.   

7 pm - 9 or 10 pm:
Humans vs Zombies moderated tag
Athens Community Center grounds 701 E. State St. Athens. 
HvZ: Athens is presenting a short game behind the Community Center after Ratha Con.  Register to play at HvZ: Athens' table during Ratha Con (12 pm - 7 pm)

Addmission is $6 or $5 with a coupon from The Wizard's Guild or a ticket stub from The Avengers film or Vampire Cowboys' performance.

Ratha Con is the first comic convention to be held in Athens, Ohio. Like many other comic conventions, Ratha Con will have a variety of comic and pop culture-related entertainment and activities.  

The Con will feature merchants in the form of comic book shops The Wizard's Guild and Super-Fly Comics & Games selling their wares, comic artists such as Sandy Plunkett, Steve Richter, and Ken Eppstein meeting fans and selling their work, and Kiser's BBQ Shack selling food. 

Ratha Con will provide entertainment in the form of three panel discussions throughout the day on topics like comics to film and Alan Moore and David Lloyd's V for Vendetta, games of 1st Edition Dungeons and Dragons as well as two Magic: the Gathering drafts, and a performance by the Steampunk Ballet. Ratha Con will end with a game of Humans vs. Zombies played in the grounds behind the Community Center.  

Ratha Con is a new experience for Athens and a miracle to anyone who loves comic conventions but doesn't like to or cannot travel to experience them. Don't miss your chance to be a part of the start of Ratha Con and help keep the comic convention in Athens for years to come! 

For more information: 

Check out the story from WOUB HERE

But that's not all!

Beyond Words: The Art of the Graphic Novel 

“Where Literature and Visual Arts Meet”-Carl Wyckaert

Please join The Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center (Dairy Lane, Athens Oh) for the opening reception Friday, May 25, 2012 from 5-7pm. Mr. Wychaert will be giving a gallery talk about his collection on Friday, May 25, 2012 from 1:00pm-3:00pm and at 1:30pm and 3:30
pm on Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27, 2012.

The exhibition will feature works from the personal collection of Belgian Collector, Carl Wyckaert. His collection is original art from graphic novels by 44 international graphic novel artists, including:

  • Kent Williams
  • Teddy Kristiansen
  • Alex Ross
  • Ben Templesmith
  • Jae Lee
  • Bilal
  • Joel Parnotte
  • Dave McKean
  • Bill Sienkiewicz
$5.00 General
$4.00 Students and Seniors
Free for Dairy Barn Members and Children under 12

On Exhibition Summer 2012: May 26 - September 9, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

"Feeding Community" Final Art Exhibition & Local Food Party

Throughout spring quarter, Ohio University alums and current student writers + artists have explored sustainability issues, toured local food establishments, volunteered at a local farm, and learned about the arts of paper and book-making.

The end result? A handmade book highlighting six local and organic food producers: Integration Acres, O'Chocolate, Shagbark Seed & Mill Co., Green Edge Gardens, Good Earth Farm, and King Family Farms.

To celebrate all the hard work that went into creating this book, you're invited to our FINAL EVENT Tuesday, May 22, 2012 featuring free local appetizers from Casa Nueva and Fluff Bakery, the exhibition of our handmade book, and local music. Local food producers will be our guests of honor!
  • 7:30-8:15 p.m.--Music from Adam Remnant & Kelly Latimore + local refreshments & book pages on display
  • 8:15 p.m.--Official welcome & Thank yous from Danielle & Becca
  • 8:20 p.m.--Papermaking/printmaking art students and project writers explain their creative process.
Come out to help us revel in the unique and vital food community we have here in Athens! Copies of the book will be for sale (with proceeds going to the farmers' market and ARTS/West). Please spread the word!

The event is free, but donations will be collected for the Athens Farmers' Market and ARTS/West.

This project was partially funded by Arts for Ohio.

Monday, May 14, 2012



Written by: Madeline ffitch (of The Missoula Oblongata)

Music by: Jordan O'Jordan (of Polka Dot Dot Dot)

Designed by: Elspeth Vance (an exceptional weaver)

Directorial assistance: Sarah Lowry (of The Missoula Oblongata)
On our lush and intricately constructed world of oak, seaweed, wool, perfume, and plaster of paris, we follow the story of a hockey goaltender who, in 1959, finally got tired of the brutality of his position.  He invented the first hockey mask and wore it onto the ice.  It would be fourteen years before wearing a hockey mask was anything more than a personal choice.  Meanwhile, a mountain-lion circles the perimeter, and the sinister third party attempts to turn nature into a eulogy.  In response, neighbors become friends and seek to regain lost human skill.  We ask you to become our allies, to remember a time when we could run as fast as horses, when our powers of memorization were uncanny, and when we could take photographs with our eyes.

Using found, re-purposed, and salvaged materials from around SE Ohio, and even from as far away as Iceland, this play uses masks, glow-in-the dark macrame, and intricate papercuts to tell the story.  The otherworldly music of Jordan O Jordan draws from a variety of musical traditions, including Appalachian Hambone.

8 PM
132 W. State Street.
5 - 15 dollars at door
The play is an hour long and is not aimed at, but is appropriate for, children.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Volunteer Call

Ratha Con is quickly approaching (May 26, 2012), and we need volunteers to help out with the Con. In return, volunteers will get free admission to Ratha Con as well as a free Ratha Con t-shirt!

We're looking for people to help with a variety of tasks including:

  • People to take care of artists' booths when they take breaks
  • A person to help set up the few panels that will be happening at Ratha Con
  • A person to assist the speakers at a panel at the Athens Public Library before noon
  • People to act as general runners
  • People to run admissions into the Con
  • A person to help set up the Con in the morning
  • A person to help tear down the Con in the evening

If you're interested in being a part of making Ratha Con happen, get in contact with us at EMAIL or (740) 592-4315.

Monday, May 07, 2012

SATB Choir concert to benefit Habitat for Humanity

"Sharing All The Building"
SATB Choir, a volunteer community choir, has planned an evening of vocal and instrumental music to benefit Habitat for Humanity in Athens County at ARTS/West, located at 132 W. State St. in Athens, Ohio May 10, 2012 at 7:30pm.  The program will include a wide variety of popular and international selections.

Directed by Metra Peterson, the SATB Choir is a group dedicated to making music and connecting with the community by partnering with local non-profit agencies and arranging concerts to benefit them.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, ecumenical housing ministry that builds homes and hope for families in need. Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates decent, affordable houses alongside its home-owner partner families. For information about eligibility, volunteering, donating, or the agency's ReStore in The Plains, call (740) 592-0032.

Proceeds from the SATB concert will provide funding for Habitat for Humanity projects and support for ARTS/West and SATB.

All singers of high-school age and older are welcome to join SATB. Information about the group is published each quarter in the Athens Community Arts, Parks and Recreation publication listing programs and activities.

"Sharing the Building" concert, May 10, 2012 at 7:30pm at ARTS/West 132 W. State St. (740) 592-4315.  Pay what you Can and Donations will be graciously accepted.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Check out May!

Below and Beyond, 5/4/12, 7:30
Below and Beyond a new play about urban camouflage, immortal jellyfish, natural gas extraction and an underground creek turned sewer. Created by Beth Nixon and Sarah Lowry (of Ramshackle Enterprises and The Missoula Oblongata). With accordion music by Matthew Schreiber. Directed by Donna Sellinger.

Inspired by the long-submerged Mill Creek of West Philadelphia, as well as current debate about fracking in Pennsylvania, this original play explores the complications of what lies beneath our feet. Using puppets, pulleys, movement, maps, and the imagination, the performance examines the intricacies of extraction and recognizes a waterway that continues to resurface. Tree house, houseboat and bunker dwellers unite amidst an invasion of urban water buffalo. All this, plus a one-man band!

Show lasts approximately an hour and a half and is geared toward adult audiences and kids ages 10 and up.

Doors open: 7:00
Show time: 7:30
Tickets: $5-$15 (sliding scale) available at the door.

Cat's Pajamas Clothing Exchange, 5/4/12, 6-10, 5/5-5/6/12, 12-6.
The Cat's Pajamas Clothing Exchange is back for it's fourth installment of goodness! We all had a great time last year filling the basement of ARTS/West  to the brim with great quality clothes. So let's do that again, shall we? This is also the purrr-fect event for you and your Mom this OU Mom's weekend. Here's the low down on how to participate:
  •  Early donations of clothes can be brought to ARTS/West during normal hours (M-Th 10-4). If you donate early, you will receive a GOLDEN TICKET, which will let you take as many items as you like throughout the event. EARLY DONATIONS CLOSE THURSDAY, MAY 4 at 4:00PM
  • The opening party will be Friday May 4th from 6-10pm. This will be the first chance to participate and get your paws on all the early donations of clothes! Free PIZZA will be available.
  • Regular hours of exchange are 12-5pm on Saturday May 5th and Sunday May 6th.
  • Entry to the exchange is $5 for the entire weekend. You only pay entry once. (all proceeds benefit ARTS/West)
  • You may take as many items as you bring to trade. Each additional item is $1. (unless you donate early)
  • You may participate even if you bring no items to trade.
  • We always are looking to partner with charity groups who may have use for the clothes that remain after the exchange!!!
S.A.T.B. Choir Benefit Concert 5/10/12, 7:30pm
Sharing All The Building

A concert Of Music About Home and heart. Proceeds to Benefit Athens Habitat for Humanity

Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:30

Donations for Habitat for Humanity, ARTS/West and SATB will be graciously accepted.

Calliope Feminist Choir 5/19/12, 7:30, 5/20/12, 4:30
2012 Spring Concert. Tickets available from Calliope members, Blue Eagle Music, and Hyacinth Bean Florist.

General admissions sliding scale $10-50; limited income $2-10.

For more information: (740) 818-8444 

Ratha Con (Athens' first Comic Con) 5/26/12
10-12: Panel discussion (Featuring local artists) at Athens City Library (30 Home St., Athens, OH)

12-7: At the Athens Community Center (701 E. State St. short walk from the library) Artist Alley, Comics, Gaming and Collectables, Vendors, Performance, Displays, HvZ, Food Vendors, and much, much more...

Admission: $6

*we have very reasonable rates for artists' and vendors' booths*

For more information: EMAIL

Line-up of a full month of activities and events:

Community Yoga
Sunday May 13th ARTS/West Community Yoga 3:45-5. Ignite your spark and let your practice connect you with your inner light. Every class starts with poses to warm the muscles, joints and ligaments. A moderate flow of standing and seated poses will follow, freeing the body of tension and strengthening the core. Practice ends with restorative poses to calm the mind.

Classes are (usually) the first Sunday of the month and free for A/W members or donation based for non-members. Contact us or Laura Post  at for more info.