Sunday, July 30, 2000

Appalachian council has its plate full of arts

By Jackie Demaline
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Urban Appalachian Council has a packed calendar for 2000-2001, including a first-ever collaboration with Aronoff Center for the Arts next spring.

        Pauletta Hansel oversees the extensive programming as part of her work as UAC associate director.

        The summer youth theater and video project with young people from Lower Price Hill and South Fairmount is winding down.

        Funded by Ohio Arts Council's Youth Reach Ohio and the Community Arts Fund, the kids will premiere their play, Da Message, on Aug. 9 at Oyler Elementary School.

        The video project will continue in the fall. Kids will work with artists Meg Hanrahan and Laura Marsan to make a video about their lives and communities.

        Ongoing neighborhood programming will include an Appalachian film series, a dance residency with Cheryl Wallace in Lower Price Hill, the winter showcase Ringing in an Appalachian New Year.

        Ms. Hansel, now in grants-writing and administration mode, credits her two assistants, Brenda Saylor and Mike Hinson. “I have two strong people coordinating the work. And they're both poets,” she laughs.

        There will be a burst of activity in the spring, including the first collaboration among the council, the Aronoff Center and Appalshop.

        An Appalachian celebration the weekend of April 21-22 so far includes the Aronoff's presentation of the touring show Promise of a Love Song,surrounded by a concert, films (plus the premiere of the local youngsters' video project) and maybe visual arts.

        “The level of activity is pretty typical,” says Ms. Hansel, but with the April showcase “we're hoping for a higher level of visibility and a new audience.”

        The challenge, she says, is “keeping our goals truly balanced, reaching for a wider audience but not at the expense of our neighborhood audience, which has been growing.”


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