Adams County Arts Council – Supporting the arts in Adams County, PA

Archive for April, 2018

The Artful History of the ACAC

Posted on: April 12th, 2018 by Elle Lamboy

By Polly Patrono-Carlson

In 1993, a chance meeting between Judy Marti and Mark Merrifield set into motion a change that would artistically effect Adams County.  The early 1990s saw a financial crisis within the public schools in Adams County.  On the ladder of importance, arts education was the first to go.  The cuts in art funding within the schools was a call to action for Judy, Mark and a group of like-minded citizens.

It started with surveys.  What would you want an arts council to do and what is needed? School administrators, teachers, and leaders in the community were asked and over 1,100 surveys, just from the schools, were sent back.  It gave the members of the early Arts Council the affirmation that there was a need for the arts in the community.  That survey provided a roadmap for the present day Adams County Arts Council.

The meetings began in homes and the library but soon there was a need for office space.  After a small office in the late 90s, a larger office was rented on Carlisle Street and it would become the home of the Imagination Station in 2006, which provided children with classes in the arts.

The early years

It then became obvious that it was time for another outreach to the community.  In 2008, the Big Canvass was sent out to the community in hopes of gaining information of what was wanted and needed for the future.  The takeaway was more, more classes, more space, and more help for low income students.

Classes at the ACAC, 1990s

The board started to look for a building and financing.  They were able to secure a loan from the USDA and created a capital campaign.  The hard work paid off and in 2011, the Arts Council building on Washington Street was opened.  It staffed 6 people, offered more classes, more help for low income seniors and children, a space for art and a place for the community to gather.

Today, the ACAC continues to flourish.  Chris Glatfelter, the executive director, sees the Arts Council helping with all aspects within the community.  Programs with autistic children, veterans, and seniors are all areas being implemented and explored.  She says, “art can improve the lives of people dealing with a variety of issues.” Programs with Wellspan at Gettysburg Hospital are underway and new classes at the center are supporting mind, body and spirit.

Because of the Adams County Arts Council, 736,000 people have been served in Adams County.  The artist in residency program, first started in 1995, has provided arts education to over 200,000 students. The Arts Council’s mission to promote and share the value of the arts and cultivate an arts rich community has been flourishing since the 1990s. Judy Marti said it best, art is the “elasticity of the community brain.”  We are so fortunate to have a place to foster that elasticity.

Today, the ACAC offers a variety of classes and events to appeal to all sorts of artistic tastes and talents.

YOU can help ensure the ACAC can continue offering its quality programming and continue being the elasticity of the community by contributing to our current ABC campaign, which offers financial assistance to low-income children in our community.

Visit our website to support our artful effort.

THANK YOU! 

 

 

Artist Spotlight: Jack Handshaw

Posted on: April 11th, 2018 by Lisa Cadigan

 

On March 13, 2018, the Adams County Arts Council hosted a beautiful event at the Gettysburg Hotel to celebrate their 25th Anniversary and to honor the people who have played a key role in its evolution over the past 25 years. Jack Handshaw was one of those special people who was presented with a 2018 Applause award.

Jack discovered ceramics at a young age, growing up in Chambersburg. He credits his persistence with the medium to two special teachers, who pushed him to explore and improve on his work with clay. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Army and became an arts and crafts instructor at Fort Dix. During this time, he also attended night classes at the Clay Studio in Philadelphia.

Learn more about Hobbitt House Pottery on Jack’s website

When he was honorably discharged in 1978, Jack set up a studio in North Philly, but he dreamed of building an outdoor kiln in the country. That dream came true the following year, when he bought an 18th century log home on Mount Hope and established Hobbitt House Pottery. He’s been making and selling pottery there ever since.

His work is part of the Nicodemus Center for Ceramic Arts’ Series and has been recognized with numerous awards at our Juried Exhibition. His trademark figural pieces always bring a smile to your face.

Jack has been a great supporter of the Arts Council for 25 years. “I was interested and involved since the beginning,” says Jack. “It made sense. It was like a marriage.” Long before ACAC opened its Arts Education Center (AEC), Jack offered classes at Hobbitt House to benefit the organization. He’s been a fixture at artist events from Art at the Winery to the Holiday Market.

A natural born teacher, he enjoys passing along his knowledge of the wheel and hand building to students of all ages. When ACAC began theImagination Station, he encouraged families to come to classes together to make pottery. His classes and summer camps are always popular, and are now held in a workshop at the AEC that he helped to design and that he continues to oversee.

You can find out more about Jack and his work on his website: http://www.hobbitthousepottery.com/. He is also a featured artist on http://www.foothillsartists.net/, which offers a Foothills Studio Tour every year the weekend before Thanksgiving.

A talented and kind man with a big heart, ACAC is so thankful for all that he does.

Won’t you help make it possible for more children to attend camps like Jack’s? Please donate today to the Arts Benefit Children (ABC) campaign!

 

ABCs of the Arts: An Interview with Wendy Heiges

Posted on: April 11th, 2018 by Lisa Cadigan

by Elle Lamboy

Photo by Autumn Kern

Meet Wendy Heiges, Program and Gallery Director at the Adams County Arts Council (ACAC). Her dedication and passion not only for the arts but also for the students who benefit from arts programming are inspiring.

This week, we are raising funds for our Arts Benefit Children (ABC) scholarship fund. All proceeds from the ABC campaign help Wendy and other dedicated staff and volunteers continue to instill the gift of art in the Gettysburg community. Your contribution provides scholarships for children who may not otherwise be able to attend arts camps and classes.

We’re happy to share this interview with Wendy here.

Question: You started with ACAC first as a volunteer, then joined the executive board and became co-coordinator of classes held at the Imagination Station on Carlisle St., and then you moved to your current staff position when ACAC moved to the Arts Education Center seven years ago. What have been your fondest memories/greatest accomplishments?

Wendy: I’m grateful to have had a chance to work with and promote outstanding artist/instructors in our community and to contribute, as the Program & Gallery Director of the ACAC, to the growth and sustainability of the arts through public classes and gallery events over the past 10 years.

Question: Why should someone support the ACAC’s ABC campaign?

Wendy: Investing time and money through art enrichment programs for children allows them to keep a school mindset during summer downtime, as well as cultivate and enrich their mind, social skills, boost their math and science skills, and dream time. Studies show that there is a community need for after-school and summer camp programs which help children thrive. The ACAC’s summer camps provide hands-on art enrichment opportunities in an encouraging, small classroom environment with professional instruction.

Question: Why are the arts important to you?

Wendy: The arts help my sense of well-being flourish, give me purpose, and add beauty and value to my everyday life.

Question: What do the arts do to enhance a community?

Wendy: The arts transcend age, gender, socio-economic background, and experience. When a person picks up a paint brush, handles a mound of clay, sings a song, dances, or takes a picture, their world for that moment is magical, and the possibilities seem boundless. The arts contribute to a vibrant community by encouraging diversity and by giving anyone who would like to shine a chance and a place to do so.

Question: Why should someone take a class at the ACAC at any age?

Wendy: I believe the classes at the ACAC are developed to provide the opportunity for anyone who would like to learn a creative skill in a comfortable and welcoming environment to do so. Cultivating your inner artist makes whatever else you do better. You feel better, and when you feel better, you approach other tasks at hand with a new sense of joy and purpose. You don’t have to be a professional artist to reap the benefits of the arts. Take a class at the Arts Education Center and see where it takes you!

Donate now to the ABC Campaign! Your donation provides scholarships for children who may not otherwise be able to attend arts camps and classes.

Celebrating with Music Day and Singing Our ABC’s

Posted on: April 9th, 2018 by Lisa Cadigan

On Saturday, April 7, we celebrated our 25th Anniversary and kicked off our annual ABC campaign with Music Day. The day was a huge success. At least 125 people attended a variety of events throughout the day. We are pleased to share some photos from the day here, and also to ask you to consider a $25 donation to celebrate our 25 years. Your contribution provides scholarship funds to children who may not otherwise be able to afford to attend an arts class or camp.

We will be collecting ABC donations through Friday, April 13, so please click here to donate online, mail or stop by 125 South Washington Street, Gettysburg, with your donation, and share this post with your friends and family on social media. It’s as easy as A-B-C.

Music Day was a fun-filled family day that began with a Music Together class, led by Event Co-chair Lisa Cadigan. Following that class, participants attended an instrument petting zoo, led by students from Gettysburg College’s Music Education program.

Gettysburg College Music Education student Liz DeVito teaches a Music Day attendee how to make a clear sound with the flute.
Photo by Lisa Cadigan

There were performances by local music students from the studios of Event Co-chair Adam Cordle, Duane Botterbusch, Tim Foster, Carrie Trax, and Natalie Raymond.

Voice Teacher Carrie Trax accompanies her student Hailey Brownley during the Community Studio Showcase.
Photo by Lisa Cadigan

Gettysburg College students also led participants in the music of the Balinese Gamelan.

Gettysburg College student Brittany Barry teaches a student how to play in the Gamelan.
Photo by J. Decker photography

Following the Gamelan, participants moved over to the dance studio, where they could borrow a ukulele (or bring their own) and play and sing along to popular songs like “You Are My Sunshine,” “When the Saints Go Marching In,” and “Dust in the Wind” in a ukulele circle led by John Dufendach and Joyce Ettenger of the Cool Hand Ukes.

Ukulele Circle presenter John Dufendach of Cool Hand Ukes shows a student how to finger a chord on the ukulele.
Photo by J. Decker Photography

The day culminated with an “If Music Be the Food…” concert to support the Gettysburg Community Soup Kitchen, featuring the GKS Trio (from the studio of Adam Cordle), Adam Paul Cordle (viola), and Pomona’s Trio.

GKS Trio opens the If Music Be the Food Concert at Music Day.
Photo by Ellen Cadigan

The purpose of the day was to engage community in a celebration of the ACAC that not only allowed attendees to hear great music, but invited them to make music as well.

Finally, a huge thanks to all of our sponsors, without whom this day would not have been possible:

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