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Annual Report

given at the 2006 Annual Meeting by co-director Michael Hasty

As the Hampshire County Arts Council heads into its fourteenth year of operation, it’s good to recall that what makes up a council is people. So I’d like to begin this year’s annual review by focusing on the committees that do the work, and thanking the people who volunteer for those committees. There are a lot of people who deserve thanks, so please hold your applause until I give you the cue.

Let’s start with the Art Camp Committee, which serves the children of the community, so it’s a good place to start. The committee chair is Nancy Judd, who does a wonderful job year after year. Our thanks for another successful year also go to:

Jane McBride, Superintendent of WVSDB;
Mr. JD Corbin, principal of the Secondary Deaf Building and his staff;

Instructors: Sibyl MacKenzie, Amanda Gower, Robin Pancake, Teresa Bisset, Sue and Hank Saville, and Patty Perry

Friday’s Entertainment: Michael Hasty, MC and
Steve Dawson and Friends (Musicians: Dick Everett, Deborah Heare, Don Vorbaugh, EA Leatherman, and Mandy Dawson, caller)

Photography: Pat Gainer, Isabel Plowright, and Jeanie Clower of the Hampshire Review

Volunteers and Snack Makers: (too many to name) but who include Culinary Expressions of Shanks, WV., who made some truly excellent peanut butter cookies.

We would also like to thank the parents and children, some of whom have made Art Camp a part of their summer for the past 6 years.


Let’s go from children to Spring, and what was unfortunately the last year of the Spring Festival, because we weren’t able to find someone to replace Shirley Carnahan, who did a great job chairing this year’s committee.

We’re grateful, again, to the WV School for Deaf & Blind for the generous use of their grounds and facilities. Assisting Shirley in putting on this event were Robin
Pancake, Patti Perry, Isabelle Plowright, Sylvia Reisher, Nancy Judd,
Bess Rexrode, Marilyn Nickelson, Kate & John Mcwilliams, and Michael Hasty. Thanks also go to all the music performers who played gratis at the festival, including The Millbrook Boys, Mountain Momma, Joe’s Garage, and the Time Travelers, and to Joe Crawford for doing the sound. And thanks to all the vendors and the business and
artisan patrons who made the festival a success.

Also occurring in the Spring, in April, which is Poetry Month, is the annual Ice Mountain Writers presentation, which has been organized the last few years by coordinator Michael Hughes. Sadly, this is Michael’s last year as chair of the IMW, because he and his wife, Arts Council co-director Janet Gould, are moving to Michigan this summer. Michael is so good at what he does that he’s being replaced by two people as IMW chair, Sibyl Mackenzie and Larry Brown, who will take the reins this month.

Thanks to the mainstays of the group for consistent support: Sibyl, Larry,
Isabel, Francis, Michael Hasty, and Susan de Van.

Throughout the year, an ongoing Arts Council project puts the work of local artists on display upstairs at the Hampshire County Public Library, a different artist every month. This project is organized by committee chair Bess Rexroad, to whom we are most grateful for a job that requires true deftness to handle, and to Head Librarian Brenda Riffle and all her wonderful staff for coordinating the display. Of course, thanks also go to the many artists who donated their work.

Every September, during Hampshire County Heritage Days, the Arts Council sponsors the Fall Fine Art Show in the Bank of Romney Community Room. This year, John Wood took over as chair of that committee, and did an excellent and thorough job organizing the show. Thanks once again to the forty talented artists and photographers who entered their work in the show, and to the other people who helped out:
Bess Rexroad, who hung the artwork; Kate and John McWilliams who checked in the art; and Janet Gould and the art sitters she recruited -- Melinda Chambers, the late Charles Tripp, Ann Warner, Steve Ritz, KC Chilcoat, Yours truly, Eileen Eddis, Patricia Taylor, Jan Dodgins, Karen & Eph Herriott, and Lynn Goleman.

There are two other committees whose work needs to be recognized, because they are so important in keeping the arts community in Hampshire County connected. And the amazing thing is that they are essentially one- person operations. Robin Pancake is the chair and producer of the Arts Council’s quarterly newsletter, Art in Action, doing all the writing and editing. And, with some occasional help from her daughter, Isabel Plowright somehow manages the remarkable feat of eking enough time out of her busy schedule as a nursing student to produce and maintain the Arts Council’s website, Let me also mention one other committee, the Drama Committee, which is still in development, but committee chair Eileen Eddis has put in a lot of work to get it going, and deserves some recognition. So let’s give all three of them a big hand.

Perhaps because I personally find it so daunting an accomplishment, I’ve saved the Concerts Committee for last. The perennial chair of this committee is Arts Council co-director Shari Gallery, aka The Whirling Dervish. Her consistent productivity is nothing short of astonishing. To me, as I’m sure to many of you, the regular concerts Shari organizes are the most public face of the Arts Council, and the amount of work Shari puts in, with the help of Phil and the Gallery kids, to make these concerts happen really deserves its own special recognition. Thanks, Shari.

Of course, every concert needs a venue, and we are very grateful to have the generous cooperation of Loy Foundation President Bob Mayhew and the entire Loy Foundation board of trustees in making these Bottling Works available for Arts Council activities. Thanks also to Jeanne Shoemaker and Gizmo the sound guy for helping concerts happen here. We also need to thank Dave Plowright and the staff of the Potomac Center, and once again, Jane McBride and her staff at WVSDB, for providing concert space.

And special thanks go out to the many world-class performers who have entertained us at concerts this year, starting with Blues Master Guy Davis; Francis and KC Chilcoat and the Mountain Momma band; South Mountain String Band and the Rock Candy Cloggers; Scottish and Irish musicians Tom Smith, Wattie Lees, Jim Byrne and Nick Spencer; Singer/songwriter Andrew McKnight; Celtic/Appalachian artists Wolf Creek Session; the Brazilian band, Minas; folksinger John McCutcheon; sultry Latin singer Laura Fuentes and her band Calicante; and wrapping up the year with National Flatpick Guitar champion Robin Kessinger. What a lineup!

Before I move into another whole category of people to thank, let me recognize the contributions of a few more folks who’ve helped us out: Brian Bowers, music teacher at Hampshire High; Ann Warner, who organizes the Young Writers competition; Deb Hartsock, Title 1 Coordinator for Hampshire County schools; Loudoun Thompson, who lends us storage space for arts council materials. And finally, we have to thank our outgoing Secretary and Treasurer, Darla Cook and Kate McWilliams, for doing so much during their past year in office to keep the AC running on all cylinders.

Now everybody knows that you can have committees full of volunteers, and thousands of square feet of auditoriums, but like the world at large, what makes the art world go ‘round is money, and for that we have many people, businesses and institutions to thank.

Fine Art Show Donors:

Shelia Melzak
Hampshire Review
Jim & Susan Miller
Stoney Creek Kennels
William & Joe Pancake
Friends of the Library
Jean & Scott Simmons
Dillons Furniture
Romney Florists
A New Century Realty
United Country/Home Place Realty
Mayhew Chevrolet

Special thanks to the year’s biggest concert donors to the Arts Council:

First National Bank
Bank of Romney
Romney Moose Club

Finally, our thanks go to our retiring co-director, Janet Gould, who will be sorely missed. Good luck in your new home in Michigan, Janet


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