Something’s happening here

Can you feel the buzz of excitement, the thrill of anticipation currently in the air? Well, something is definitely happening here! Darke County Center for the Arts’ officials and staff are abuzz, eagerly anticipating the thrilling return of the organization’s ability to present artists who will entertain, amaze, and inspire with their talents.

First, on Monday, June 21, DCCA is sponsoring Make Music Darke County, inviting local citizens to join an international celebration of the Summer Solstice. As outlined in last week’s column, you can sign up to perform in this festive event at [email protected] and everyone can participate by taking in the performances that will be happening across the county. Celebrating music in concert with others around the world seems to be an appropriate beginning to a return to normalcy following a time of restrictions and uncertainty.

Next, details are almost complete for DCCA’s Barbecue and Blues event, which will be held on the inviting lawn at Greenville Public Library on Friday, July 9; tickets will go on sale soon. Local musician Jeff Rearick will open the musical festivities, followed by three-time Detroit Blues Challenge Champion John Latini, whose engaging wit and musical chops have made him a favorite at past DCCA events. And the headliner is Noah Wotherspoon, who has wowed audiences around Ohio and the world since he was a teenager, and was named “Best Guitarist” at the 2015 Memphis, Tenn. International Blues Festival. And of course, food trucks will be offering up a variety of yummy temptations, Moeller Brewpub will be selling their popular brews, and tempting wines will be available for purchase. You won’t want to miss it!

Then, from July 26 through 31, DCCA will once again welcome a week-long residency in Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall by Missoula Children’s Theatre; all local youngsters entering first through 12th grades are invited to audition for roles in MCT’s Sleeping Beauty, which will be presented in two performances on Saturday, July 31. Details regarding a possible requirement for pre-registration are yet to be finalized due to uncertainty surrounding pandemic safeguards, but the Greenville Board of Education has declared that St. Clair Memorial Hall will be available to all renters at full capacity as of June 2, with the caveat that those using the Hall must adhere to all local, state, and national health orders in place at the time of the rental.

And that opening of Memorial Hall means that DCCA can once again plan an Artists Series season, with outstanding artists doing what they were born to do within the acoustically outstanding auditorium for an appreciative audience that has been waiting for over a year to experience such an event! Those of you familiar with the Buffalo Springfield song referenced in this column’s title will know that the line following “Something’s happening here” is “What it is ain’t exactly clear.” However, we can follow the song’s ultimate directive: “Everybody look what’s going down,” as we await what happens next.

DCCA Artistic Director David Warner, who since COVID brought the ability to gather together to a crashing halt, has spent his time re-booking, re-canceling, and re-scheduling ad infinitum, and is now scrambling to secure final signatures on artists’ contracts so that a slate can be offered to eager ticket-buyers by a season-opening date of Saturday, Sept. 11, when the highly-anticipated but necessarily postponed concert by the legendary “Hit Men” is now scheduled.

As traveling theatre companies work to be able to resume their hectic schedules, David is feverishly working to bring their delightful offerings to St. Clair Memorial Hall for DCCA’s 2021-2022 Family Theatre Series. And progress is quickly being made to assure that DCCA’s Coffeehouse Series of big-time concerts in small venues will once again warm hearts and souls during the ensuing days and months. DCCA’s highly-valued Arts In Education series which presents artists to students in every grade of all Darke County and Greenville City schools is almost set for actual in-person sessions (!) during the 2021-2022 school year.

Something is definitely happening here; and I can hardly wait!

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By Marilyn Delk

DCCA News

Marilyn Delk is the former executive 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.