By Jane E. Pacey
The year 1994 was a busy year for programming. The
Winter Pops concert was February 26 and a trivia contest was part
of the event.
A Sacred Music Concert was held Palm Sunday, Mar. 27 at the High
School, directed by Tom Hawkins. It included choirs from three churches
and the High School Choir, a brass ensemble, and the Cultural Society
Choral group. A dulcimer workshop was also held in March.
Little Theatre Players did Little Mary Sunshine directed
by Bob Cover in April. Dick Neumann designed the cover for the program.
It had a cast of about 30 people and the musical was a huge success
and performed at the Community Arts Center.
Yesterday: A Tribute to the Beatles was the first of a Celebrity
Performance Series which was held at the High School Auditorium
in April. The profit from the event was to be used to renovate the
auditorium. The Cultural Society handled the ticketing and marketing
for the event in exchange for 20% of the profit, but even though
the concert was a success, no profit was made.
St. Marys School did Hansel & Gretel at the
end of April and rehearsals began for Joseph and the Technicolor
Dreamcoat with over 50 in the cast. This production was held
in July and was a huge success with a profit of over $4000.00, some
of which was used to buy a new sound system.
In May, Viki Oliver directed the H.S. Drama club in Storybook
Theatre which was performed at the Community Arts Center.
In July, Viki also did a Camp Shakespeare and the group
did Midsummers Nights Dream at the conclusion
of the camp.
The Art In Education committee sponsored the production of Wizard
of Oz in August. The cast was all young people aged 5-19,
84 in all. This was directed by Mike Satchell.
During the summer, Mike Faris held 6 art lessons for students on
Saturday mornings and the Philharmonic Orchestra performed at Balloon
Fest in August.
The Fall started with An Italian Evening performed by
the Choral Society and directed by Marge Kasten. The Fall Art Show
was held in October and a Germanfest was also held here in October.
This was organized by Dr. Dottie Pedtke and Dr. Charles Jay.
No Illinois Arts Council grant was received this year. On
Golden Pond was presented at the High School Auditorium in
September. This was a professional performance and the profit was
to go to restore the Band Shell. Attendance was poor.
The Holiday Craft Fair was held in November and the 34th annual
Christmas Concert in December.
Scholarships were given that year to Chris Wilson, Michael Allen,
Greg Allen, Sarah Smalley, Nathan Hahs, and Angela Simmons.
The Arts in Education program was given a big boost by an anonymous
donation of $15,000 that was to be used as seed money
to get the School programs started. $5000 was to be used for the
next three years until the programs became self-sustaining. The
Picture Person Program began this year also.
Mike Loomis designed a new brochure for the Society to use.
In 1995 David Stedelin turned over the Presidency of the Board to
Webb Mikesell. The first event of the new year was a Valentine Dance.
Attendance was only 26 people. The Winter Pops concert featured
the Jazz Incredibles and was well attended.
Little Theatre Players presented The Sunshine Boys directed
by Bob Cover in March and April. The cast consisted of Ken McCall,
Harold Stover, Jr. , Sherm Doolen, Del Meyer, Rhonda Schwartz, Cheryl
Harre, Sandra Davis, and Bill Culbreth, with John Scattergood as
Another Sacred Music Concert was held April 9 and St. Marys
did Aladdin at the end of April.
A $10,000 Challenge Campaign for renovations to the building was
held. An anonymous donor gave a total of $5000 if it could be matched
by other members of the Society. This fund provided money for new
carpeting in the lobby and auditorium, tile in the bathrooms, concession
area and kitchen and all of the building was repainted with all
work being done by volunteers. The new grey arm chairs were purchased.
The big summer musical was Into the Woods, directed
by Eric Todd Rushing. Eric also directed Alices Adventures
In Wonderland, a childrens production, that summer.
The Fall began with the Art Show and a play Crimes of the
Heart directed by Viki Oliver.
Special events included a benefit choral concert which was held
at the Presbyterian Church for the Cultural Society and the Craft
Fair held in November and the Christmas Concert in December.
Mike Faris again did art classes during the summer and the school
programs were successful as usual. Viki Oliver had the Shenandoah
Express visit the high school and they used the building for
Scholarship winners that year were Chris Wilson, Angela Simmons,
Eric Rushing, Lisa French, and Stephanie Schwartz.
The most notable happening was the Rural Genius Award given to the
In 1996, under the leadership of Webb Mikesell, the mortgage was
refinanced and extended for another 15 years to drop the mortgage
payment from $905 to $406 a month through the Centralia Foundation.
Virginia Rohrbacher led a task force to determine ways to improve
the cash flow of the Cultural Society. The plan included creating
a second trust with the object of increasing income for operating
expenses. Thus the idea for Campaign 2001 was born and the Endowment
Trust fund began. This is a trust fund that is open
and can receive donations at any time. The Puffer Trust, which has
been the major trust of the Cultural Society since 1969 is a Closed
trust. No donations can be added to that trust and only the interest
Carpeting from the old Economy building was donated to the Cultural
Society and volunteers put it in the LTP room, the costume room,
and the dressing rooms.
LaVerne Brink presented an art class and Mike Faris did a slide
presentation about art.
A Garden Show was planned, which was a new event, and a childrens
class in music, Playful Harmonies, was begun. A new computer was
purchased for the office, and parking lot lights were added.
The Winter Pops concert was held in February and directed by Bill
King and included the Jazz Incredibles again.
The Sacred Music Concert was held in March with Marge Kasten as
director. LTP players were busy with the 1940s Radio Hour
directed by Deanna Ducomb and Steve Kasten. Bob Cover directed a
re-enactment of the Last Supper. St. Marys play
in 1996 was The Spell of Sleeping Beauty.
The Orchestra did a Fall Concert and a spring concert that year
and a special event was a Miners Tribute held
at the High School.
Jay Stanley directed the highly successful Nunsense
in July and Del Meyer directed the childrens show, The
Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in August.
The Fall LTP was The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940
directed by Viki Oliver and Larry Wilson. The Holiday Craft Fair
was again held and a string recital was given by Vicki Haltermanns
Marge Kasten directed the Madrigal A Sherwood Forest Feaste
in December. The 36th annual Candlelight Concert was also held in
December. Viki Oliver directed A Family Christmas on
Dec. 13, and 14.
Scholarship winners that year were Jennifer Boczek, Angela Simmons,
Julie Francois, and Chris Wilson. Two grants were received from
the Illinois Arts Councilone for $5,630 and one for $1460.