Now you know


Darke County Center for the Arts recently presented a residency by Missoula Children’s Theatre in which local youngsters starred in a delightful production of Peter and Wendy, MCT’s charming version of the classic story of Peter Pan.

As readers of this column, you probably already know all about that. However, do you know that this year’s residency, as well as all of the MCT productions since the first in 2002, was funded by Darke County Endowment for the Arts?

The Endowment also has supported the Anna Bier Gallery’s Art Start program since it’s very beginning, giving money to the High School Arts Departments of local schools to be used for needed supplies enabling students to participate in the Gallery’s annual High School art exhibit. Both of these fabulous programs were funded through DECA’s General Fund, which also annually awards grants to local applicants seeking financial help for their artistic projects.

Among those recipients is the Greenville Municipal Concert Band, which presents exceedingly popular concerts in Greenville City Park’s Marling Bandshell each summer. This beloved tradition is highly appreciated by music lovers throughout the community, demonstrating that cultural enrichment can be a whole lot of fun for musicians and audiences alike.

Main Street Greenville’s recent Artisan Stroll awarded monetary prizes for participants, enabling and promoting local artists through this enticing fun-filled event; a Darke County Endowment for the Arts grant funded those prizes. An exciting art camp for third- through twelfth-grade students was provided at St. Clair Memorial Hall this summer in a cooperative effort between art teacher Julie Brewer and the Anna Bier Gallery; materials for this high quality art experience were provided by a grant from Darke County Endowment for the Arts.

Greenville Art Guild planned a workshop teaching aspiring artists of all ages how to create a collage; DCEA funds provided the materials for this creative experience. Each month from March through December, historic Bear’s Mill hosts “Art at the Mill,” bringing the work of outstanding regional artists to our community, inviting local citizens to an opening night reception featuring food and brief talks by the artists that provide insight into their work. Bear’s Mill received a grant from Darke County Endowment for the Arts aiding this artistic effort. The Gathering at Garst included an Art Tent displaying the intriguing output of ten diverse area artists; that tent was underwritten by Darke County Endowment for the Arts.

Darke County Park District hosts the Historical Encampment at The Gathering. In addition to assisting with funds for compensating performers who provide historical interpretation at this popular summer event, DCEA granted money for artists who will perform at Shawnee Prairie’s annual Prairie Days festival this fall, helping make history come alive through the arts.

Ansonia High School Drama Club produced a summer musical theatre experience for kindergarten through eighth grade students thanks to assistance from the Endowment. Ansonia Elementary School’s art classes will receive needed supplies for a special project, which will also benefit all of the school’s teachers, and the Ansonia High School Art Club will enjoy expanded activities this school year because of DCEA grants.

And St. Mary’s Elementary School students will have direly needed new and up-to-date materials for their biannual musical theatre production due to funds provided by Darke County Endowment for the Arts.

Wow! How can an organization that supports all of that artistic activity go almost unnoticed in the community it serves? And that’s not all that DCEA does.

In addition to the General Fund supporting the above-mentioned activities, DCEA also holds a fund that supports Darke County Center for the Arts, helping with expensive equipment purchases and other needed expenditures for the local arts council, as well as the Memorial Hall Fund, which provides financial support for needed upkeep and renovation of historic, beautiful Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall.

If you are interested in assisting Darke County Endowment for the Arts as it works to keep the arts alive forever in our community, contact the organization at [email protected] or write to the attention of Nicole Gillespie, Treasurer, P.O. Box 155, Greenville, OH 45331. For more information, visit

By Marilyn Delk

Contributing Columnist

Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article 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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