Monday, November 10, 2008

Since I haven't fallen asleep yet...

Hopefully you won't while reading this. But, even though it is not very late, I'm pretty much done. But I went and did some rounds of commenting so I thought since the typing fingers were on, I'd try a quick post.

As I mentioned in my last post, I am working on the Pennsylvania Governor's Awards for the Arts. I moved to Pennsylvania as a teenager over 20 years ago. My initial reaction was, "It's cold, I want to go back to Florida!" After I graduated college, I moved to Florida for a couple years, my thoughts upon leaving were, "I'm broke. I need to move up to Pennsylvania. Surely there is a Theatre & Arts scene that I haven't previously explored" (Other than the Central Pennslyvania Festival of the Arts which is HUGE! And I didn't really appreciate to its full extent until later in life. So I moved back & got involved. For the first few years upon moving back I was focused mainly on what I was doing. I worked for a theatre production company and worked about 100 hrs a week and didn't get out to see other things for many years. As the company evolved & I grew up, I was exposed bit by bit to Philadelphia area artists. Then as I grew up more I learned more about some of the other artists that were born or spent their "formative" years, or currently call Pennsylvania Home.

As an artists group, it is unbelievably diverse. Did you know that Pennsylvania was the home of Doo-Wop & Dick Clark & Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, Keith Haring, Andrew Wyeth, Director Rob Marshall (He did the movie version of Chicago & the upcoming Nine, among other things) His sister choreographer Kathleen Marshall (Grease, Pajama Game) Opera singer Marilyn Horne, dancer Rennie Harris, pianist Lang Lang, conductor Peter Nero, singer Patti LaBelle, playwright August Wilson, Bill Cosby, John Updike, Jimmy Stewart, Mario Lanza, George Crumb, James Michner, Marian Anderson. It is truly a list that could go on & on. If you aren't sure of a name up there, Google them, really they are all worth knowing!

I am thrilled to be ever-so-slightly associated with all these people by calling Pennsylvania my home. I am equally thrilled to assist with this year's Governor's Awards for the Arts. Pennsylvania is the only state in the US that explores the state as we honor our artists. I became involved with this event when they were here in my town, at my theatre, in 2004. Since then I have traveled to Wilkes-Barre, (for you Office fans, it is right next to Scranton), Gettysburg and nowWilliamsport. (I missed Greensburg in 2005 due to strange timing). I hope next year to go to the other side of the state for these awards and see more of PA.

I am humbled by the company we keep and encouraged for the future of the arts not only in Pennsylvania, but through out the country. (I'm hoping that the other 49 states do as good a job as Governor Rendell in supporting the arts and honoring those who make it happen!)

This year we honor several people. We honor the usually unsung patrons who give time & money (Thank you Barbara Hudock of Williamsport) and amazing organizations who help the kids of Pennsylvania by introducing them to the arts. Children who participate in the arts, be it music, dance, visual arts or performing arts grow up to be more self-confident, more involved in their community, less destructive to themselves and their community and better citizens over all. Thank you to the PAL Center for the Arts in Reading, PA- an arts center and
arts mentoring program for high risk students & Taller Puertorriqueño, nationally-recognized arts organization known as the “Cultural Heart of Latino Philadelphia,” whose mission is to preserve, promote and develop Latino arts and culture. We have world-renown poet Sascha Feinstein and legendary jazz artist Phil Woods and the Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts, the annual jazz and arts festival that Woods co-founded in 1978. And our Distinguished Arts Award goes to my favorite Batman, Michael Keaton.

I am too lazy to do any links, but look them up. It is a neat group of people to spend an evening with!

Now, I am ready to go to bed. I have some very important people to deal with the next 2 days!

1 garnishes:

noble pig November 12, 2008 at 2:51 AM  

What a wonderful way to spend your time. The arts is a wonderful passion to follow, so worthwhile and beneficial to all.

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