Ultimate Musical Theater Weekend
Looking Forward to
Local Arts in 2016
The Sullivan County Council on the Arts (SCCA) is an umbrella organization working to foster and preserve the artistic and cultural lives of the residents of Sullivan County, a rural community of small towns, hemlock forests and serenity in the heart of the Endless Mountains.For a pdf copy of our 2016 brochure, click here.
For an SCCA membership form, click here.
Our Archives page holds links to all our theater scripts and prize winners.
Look for the the Sullivan County Council on the Arts on Facebook!
Arts Council Potluck Honors Its Founders at Cherry Mills
The Sullivan County Council on the Arts this year is transporting its annual potluck dinner through both time and space. Previously held in October at St. Basil's Hall, it will move to Cherry Mills Lodge on November 5 (Guy Fawkes Day, for British history fans).
More importantly, the dinner will also be a celebration honoring three members who created and maintained the Arts Council during its formative years: Vivian McCarty, Ferdie Marek and Florence Suarez.
Vivian and Ferdie were founding members, with Vivian serving as the Council's first president for close to twenty years. Florence joined soon after arriving in the county, and became its executive director for well over a decade. Together, these three established the first continuing arts programs, including the Youth Arts Award, the Art Expo and the Choice of Show, all of which are still in full flower.
The Cherry Mills Lodge, run by the Kiner family, has a warm, inviting atmosphere, which may be shared that night with one or two B&B guests as well as the potluck brigade. And in another change of pace, singer-songwriter Tom Jones will perform a program while the Arts Council guests chow down on the excellent fare always presented at these gatherings.
The potluck is open not just to SCCA members, but to anyone interested in and supportive of the arts in Sullivan County. The Council is hoping that the homey setting with bring out fresh ideas and insights as the potluckers trade stories and outlooks.
The event is free, costing you only an hour or so in the kitchen to whip together a dish. As set up by potluck organizer Connie Hatch, the order of preparation is: last names beginning with a letter from A to M, bring a dessert; from N to Z, put together your personal classic main dish; all others may bring a salad (yes, there has been somewhat of a super-abundance of salads at past gatherings).
The sharing begins at 6 pm, but come a bit early and help set up. The Kiner family are the most charming hosts imaginable, so except a relaxing, accepting experience with good friends who love the arts.
Cherry Mills Lodge is located just
off Rt. 87. Look for the blue and white sign about four miles west of its junction with 220. Their
website is www.cherrymillslodge.com
As the SCCA Literary Awards slip into their seventh year, the Arts Council, heeding the advice of our high school English teachers, has turned the contest into an almost year-long program.
In former years, it ran only during the spring months of the school year, which on occasion brought it into conflict with the school's testing schedule.
For 2016-17, by contrast, the program is starting in October and will continue through mid-March. The English teachers have been provided with humorous posters to catch student attention (and from word received so far, it's working) plus guideline sheets that provide the contest's rather minimal rules - basically, no profanity or obscenity.
The contest is open not only to students in the Sullivan County High School, but also to home schoolers and private schoolers who reside in the county: Indeed, several past winners have come from these areas. The four top winners will receive cash prizes.
Fiction, non-fiction and poetry are eligible for entry (with the Nobel Prize in Literature being awarded to Bob Dylan, song lyrics are also fair game). Writing done for the high school student newspaper is eligible as well. All students will be judged on the total body of work submitted, be it a single story or a collection of poetry, stories or articles.
The Arts Council asks that the number of entries per student be limited to four, but in the past this limitation has been waved when contest moderator Linda White was flooded with top-draw material.
Linda emphasizes, as always, that the judges will be looking for highly creative work - what's vital to the author and interesting to the reader, not just "what's expected." With more time to develop their ideas, and with more time for the teachers to promote the contest, she feels that the Arts Council should end up with especially resplendent material.
Work may be entered at any time, starting immediately, but will not be judged until the close of the contest, March 15. Students in the district, home schoolers and private schoolers may email material to email@example.com. Though print or hand-written material will also be accepted, it's easier on the eyes and typing fingers of the contest administrators to receive digital files.
Entries will be judged anonymously, but authors, please, include your name and contact information on your material.
Winners and runners-up will be published in the
Arts Council's Hills and Valleys
magazine, which will also highlight the winners of the Youth Art Award for
A Bounty of Art Expo Winners
The 2016 Art Expo, put on by the SCCA, drew artists from across the central and eastern sectors of the Northern Tier. The quality of the work submitted gave the three judges a tough job sorting out winners. And, as always, there was the coveted Choice of Show award, given to the artist and particular piece that amassed the most votes from visitors at the Forksville Fairgrounds Blue Building.
This year's three judges were local painter Dan Curry and the two Sullivan County School District art teachers, Dylan Wiesner from the high school and Melissa Swift from the elementary school.
The top prize in 2D art, which included oil, acrylic, watercolor and drawing, went to Ron Beach for his serene valley landscape, "Field of Dreams," dominated by a tree that embraced the entire scene.
Diana Novosel took second prize with her study of two slumbering boats, "North Shore Dinghies." Denise Johnson garnered third prize in 2D for her Western field and sky watercolor featuring "Cowboys."
Rita Millard (also a top winner last year) pulled in both first and second prizes in 3D art for her exquisite quilted and mixed-media pieces, "Machines," which places sewing-room objects against a quilted background that depicts a sewing machine, and "Orbits," a mid-sized quilt with small scenes and a swirling interweaving of stitches.
Third prize in 3D went to Linda Roman's tile mosaic celebrating a local theme, "Eagles Mere."
In photography, Paul Barrett's "The Old Homestead," a beautifully focused wintery meditation on the last stages in the life of a clapboard farmhouse, took the top prize. Second place went to Curtis Salonick's "It's Complicated," a steampunk interlacing of plumbing and other mechanical parts. Dick Allyn received third prize for his close-up view of a "Humming Bird."
Each winner will share in the Arts Council's $1200 in prize money.
But the weekend would be nowhere near complete without the People's Choice Award, in which the visitors to the exhibit make their own decision on which piece they'd most like to have gracing their own home. This year, the choice went to Paul Barrett for "The Old Homestead," which raked in 83 of the 537 total votes cast - a new record.
Hoping to spread the prizes further and also increase the depth and breadth of the Art Expo, the Arts Council board will be considering, in the next few months, whether to open a new category in the show and extend it to student artists. More on that at a later date.email: info at sullivanarts.org