Last updated: December 04. 2013 2:54PM - 163 Views
Marilyn Delk

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Tis the season to give thanks – and Darke County Center for the Arts has much for which to express gratitude. Beginning at the beginning, DCCA is fortunate to have been founded by wise and thoughtful local citizens who were committed to establishing a cultural organization that would not only endure but thrive as an integral component of our community long after those founders had passed from this earth. DCCA officials are thankful for the legacy of Jean Louise Thieme, Clara Elliott, Mary Frances Shultz, Elaine Longfellow, Ralph and Donna Plessinger, and many others, which inspired and enabled those who followed to work for fulfillment of the organization’s mission.

Through the years, DCCA has been well-served by community members who comprise the volunteer Board for the organization, acting as good stewards, fulfilling the dreams of those who had gone before while meeting present needs and planning for the future. Currently led by Chair Gary Brown, DCCA trustees are grateful for the hard work and commitment of Executive Director Andrea Jordan and Artistic Director Keith Rawlins, an exceedingly minimal staff who perform all the day-to-day business operations, oversee all productions, solicit and account for all funds, maintain relationships with members, donors, sponsors, artists, and the community at large, etc., etc. etc. Gratitude for being blessed with trustworthy officers and creative, yet efficient staff is definitely in order.

DCCA productions would not be possible without the input of Richard Kensinger and Doug Cole, without whom the lights at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall would not come on and the sounds from the stage could not be heard and understood. The technical crew that dependably assists DCCA staff to assure that the show not only goes on but looks and sounds as good as humanly possible is indeed something for which to be very thankful.

Gratitude is also due Greenville Public Schools, who own and operate Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall. The exceptional consideration and cooperation of school officials and personnel contributes greatly to DCCA’s ability to host and present world-class performing artists in our community.

Additionally, DCCA very much appreciates the office space donated by Greenville Public Library; prior to the Library’s generosity, DCCA had no actual home. For most of the organization’s existence, all work was done and records stored in the homes of staff members and officers; while Executive Directors and others had the advantage of not having a long work drive, private time and adequate storage space were real problems that no longer constantly confront DCCA staff.

Darke County Center for the Arts is most fortunate to exist in a public-spirited community where citizens, businesses, and organizations enthusiastically embrace the arts. DCCA is thankful for those who are members, grateful to those who purchase tickets to shows, and could not exist without the support of sponsors who provide the funds necessary to bring outstanding artists to our small rural community.

Darke County Center for the Arts’ mission is to present and promote the arts, encouraging cultural enrichment in our community. With the fulfillment of that mission also comes joy, solace, and inspiration, benefitting citizens of the community the organization serves. This Thanksgiving season, DCCA as well as those who appreciate the arts have much for which to be thankful!

Marilyn Delk is a Director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at marilynd@bright.net. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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