Page 74 - Discover Magazine 2019
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   CULTURE
contest is open to anyone of any age and prizes are awarded by age group. Entries are displayed in the GAC Gallery and in store windows around the community in June and July.
A popular fundraising event for GAC is the “Bad Art by Good People” contest. Community members are invited to vote for their favorite pieces of art created by their friends and neighbors. The art works are auctioned off during
a gala evening celebration held in the fall. According to Ellen Keyes, GAC Executive Director, this is a “Pay It Forward” event where the first $10,000 raised goes to the GAC and the rest to a specific community charity.
Another fundraising event is the Princess Ball, a father-daughter dance for pre-teens who dress up like princesses
for a special night out. This annual event draws roughly 1,900 dads and their daughters held at Lehman Catholic High School.
To serve the children of Shelby County, the GAC partners with schools countywide to immerse students in the arts by providing special in-school arts programming. Thanks to support from local businesses, the GAC provides musical instruments for children who desire to play in school band or orchestra and cannot afford an instrument. The Music Matters program includes a benefit concert each spring with the proceeds going to Shriner’s Children’s Hospital.
In keeping with its mission to foster the arts throughout the Region, the GAC awards annual grants to other arts organizations.
HISTORY FOR EVERYONE
The Shelby County Historical Society is excited to be a part of the 2019-2020 Bicentennial celebration and most of their programming in the coming year reflects that.
Headquartered in the beautiful William A. Ross Jr. Historical Center in downtown Sidney, the Historical Society organizes exhibits interpreting both the regional history of the county as well as the involvement of local
people in historically significant state, national, and world affairs. In addition, the organization offers books on local history, prints by local artists, interactive CDs, wooden miniature buildings,
and merchandise featuring historic landmarks.
Part of the mission of the Historical Society is to educate the youth of Shelby County about their rich heritage. Over 1,000 students visit the Ross Historical Center annually. This year’s programs include a Civil War Day for 8th graders and the Shelby County Bicentennial 3rd Grade Experience, both in May, and the annual Pioneer Day for 4th graders in October.
Dates for other annual events have also been set. The 4th annual Afternoon Tea with historical guests is set for July 17-18. The Downtown Ghost Tour
will be October 9-10 and Christmas
of Yesteryear will be celebrated on December 7.
Another organization dedicated to showcasing the history of the area is The Wilderness Trail Museum, owned and operated by the Fort Loramie Historical Association. Visitors to the museum view uniforms and memorabilia from the Civil War, WWI and WWII as well as Indian artifacts, a turn-of-the-century dry goods store, a women’s store, and a display of old shoe-making equipment. Also included in the tour is a barn that features equipment used on farms in
the area a century ago. The museum offers a variety of programs and events throughout the year, most notably the Williamsburg Christmas Dinners held in early December.
COMMITMENT TO CULTURE
Creativity and culture have been part of the fabric of Shelby County throughout its 200-year history. Since the Opera House opened in the Monumental building in Sidney in the 1880’s,
there have been many artists, dancers, musicians, actors, and craftspeople adding to the rich culture of west central Ohio.
A good example is the Peoples Federal Savings and Loan Association building
on the corner of Court Street and Ohio Avenue in downtown Sidney. The structure was designed by famed American architect Louis Sullivan in 1917. With its rich, red brick exterior, stained glass and mosaic accents, the building is an architectural gem that is often visited by architecture students from various colleges and those who appreciate Sullivan’s work.
On the opposite corner sits the Monumental Building, erected in
1877 to honor Civil War deceased and designed as a government and cultural center. After a $3 million makeover in 2011, this magnificent structure is home to the Sidney Municipal Court and the Veterans Commission.
This commitment to the preservation of Shelby County architectural treasures has led to the current efforts to renovate the Historic Sidney Theatre. Built in 1921, the Sidney Theatre was designed as a vaudeville house like many theatres of the era. Original owner C.B. DeWeese modeled its construction after the Victoria Theatre in Dayton. The
two theatres share a common history. The Victoria became a movie theatre
in the 1950’s, fell into disrepair, and escaped the wrecking ball to live on as a beautifully renovated arts venue. Such is the plan for the Historic Sidney Theatre.
A non-profit group called Raise the Roof for the Arts was organized in 2009 and set a goal of $3.5 million to turn the 1921 structure into the showplace
it once was. As funding infrastructure, but the hanging of the restored marquee in the summer of 2017 brought a lot of excitement and anticipation of more to come. In recent months, restrooms on both floors of the structure have been renovated.
PERFORMING GROUPS
As the Historic Sidney Theatre becomes a viable performance space, one group that may be using its stage is the Sock and Buskin Community Theatre of Sidney. Founded in 1974, Sock and Buskin is celebrating 45 years of presenting a variety of plays and musicals with adult, youth, and combination
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