By Jane E. Pacey
The year started with Margaret Loomis as the Administrator
until August and then Jane Pacey was hired in September. Virginia
Rohrbacher was President of the Board and the Campaign 2001 for
additional capital to start the Endowment Trust Fund was underway.
The plan was, In five years, 2001, the Trust pledges & interest
earned would provide working capital for the building. It was also
important to establish an open trust that could be added
to with subsequent donations.
The following events were held in 1997. Bob Cover directed Lend
Me a Tenor, which was a comedy and featured Harold Stover,
Jr. Kenneth McCall, Rob Schnicker, Charles Cross, Cheryle Harre,
Susie Queen, Carrie Perkins Schnicker, and Sandra Davis.
Byron Marlow directed Jesus Christ Superstar which was
a huge hit and included a cast of many, including Chris Wilson,
and Byron Marlow, & others. Bart Holland directed Jungle
Book with a huge cast of children, and Love Letters
was performed by Frank Buckingham and Deanna DuComb as the entire
The Palette & Brush Club had their annual Fall Art show and
LaVerne Brink and Don Ross taught art classes during the year. The
Orchestra held their annual Winter Pops and performed at the Taste
of Freedom concert at Rend Lake. The Christmas concert featured
both the Choral and Orchestra. The Choral group participated in
the Miners Tribute, a special event. and other special events
held that year were the Garden Show, the Craft Fair, the Last Supper,
directed by Bob Cover with the Gospel Explosion concert.
The fourth installment for $3000 of the Perrine Trust was received
and helped provide funding for the School Programs. This year the
programs were Rusty Sabella in Concertwho then also performed
in the evening for adults; The Magic of Mime, Pied Piper and the
Frog Prince, the Moss Gown, Dance Stories, Sound & Creatures
of the North, Medus, and Jack and the Mean Bean.
The Society hosted Business After Hours on March 12 and had a special
event a Roast for Viki Olivers Birthday which raised
funds for the Society. The Balloon Fest committee held an Elvis
concert at the building and the Southern Illinois Community Arts
workshop was held. St. Marys play was Pied Piper of
There was a definite cash flow problem at the Society and it was
difficult to pay the bills each month. During the month of October,
the furnace in the main auditorium went bad and had to be replaced.
Jane & Virginia had to go to the banks and borrow the money
($8250). The Lighting was done for the Parking Lot in 1997 and handicap
parking signs were put up by the doors.
Scholarship winners were Chris Wilson, Angela Simmons, Loren Wilson,
and Peter Camphouse. The costume room was used by many organizations
as usual and the Girl Scouts used the building for their cookie
In 1998, Jerry Piper served as President of the Society. His term
lasted until May, 2000. Two major donations were received that year:
$2000 from Nations Bank and $4900 from Faye Wham. While President,
Jerry worked very hard on developing marketing and long-range plans
for the Society. He also suggested that we order new Art Panels
for the Society, which have been a great addition to all of our
exhibits and displays.
It was a successful year with programming. Viki Oliver directed
Fractured Fairy Tales for High School students which
was performed at the Community Arts Center. A Christmas Carol
was directed by Cindy Jones and Lynn Bossardet and was very successful.
Bart Holland directed Steel Magnolias which proved to
be a favorite of many. Jay Stanley directed the highly successful
Nunsense II with the original cast returning. Carrie
Perkins Schnicker directed Peter Pan which had a cast
of adults and children and Larry Wilson directed Music Man
in Concert which was performed at the High School. The Orchestra
did their Fall concert and featured Kranmers Marionettes.
St. Marys School play that year was Thumbelina.
Through successful programming & donations, we were able to
end the year with an excess of $17,000.
Some special events were the Trivia Night, the Shakespearean Teacher
Workshop, an Up with People Concert at the High School, a dance
recital and the Candlelight Christmas Concert. Since the McCalls
announced they were moving, a special reception was held for them
as a farewell.
The school programs that year were Beauty & the Beast, Amelia
Earhart, Jabberwocky, Reading is Magic, Pinochio, Slam Poetry, and
Sprinning Yarns. The Picture Person Program held their annual Art
Exhibit and the High School held their first Art Exhibit here.
Young Artist winners were Veronica Wright on the flute, Melissa
Phillips on the oboe and Chavisa Woods in Voice. All were featured
with the Orchestra concert held that year at K.C. The Orchestra
also did a Fall concert which featured the Marionettes and performed
in the Christmas concert and the Taste of Freedom concert.
Scholarship winners in 1998 were Chris Wilson, Eric Williams, Shelley
Mulvaney-Norris, and Loren Wilson.
Jane Pacey attended the first Leadership School sponsored by the
Chamber of Commerce. The Society received the much coveted Madonna
club award in 1998.
In 1999, through a Special Assistance Grant from the Illinois Arts
Council, the Website was designed. A Policy Manual was also developed
and adopted. Both have been great additions to the governance and
marketing of the Society. An artist in Residency grant was received
and a grant was written for two interns for the summer. Jamie Lynn
Lashbrook and Dayna Jones were interns that year (the very first)
and Patricia Hruby Powell was the artist in residence.
Jerry Piper was President again this year and was able to get corporate
sponsors to back the Fall Art Show, whch made it bigger and better,
to increase the attendance and the membership of the Palette &
Brush Club and to hold more exhibits at other places. A Marketing
Seminar was held on Sept. 11 for the board and we learned many things
from experts about marketing. We purchased at this time some signs
to be used on the highways to promote visibility for the Community
Arts Center. We started talking about changing the name at this
time. Members of the board attended the Rend Lake Arts Conference
and came back with some ideas for the Cultural Society.
The Little Theatre Group did Bus Stop directed by Viki
Oliver, Goldilocks directed by Cindy Jones, Tommy
with director Byrom Marlow, Midsummers Nights
Dream directed by Viki Oliver, and Just Desserts,
directed by Cindy Jones.
The Choral Society did a USO show, which drew big crowds, directed
by Steve & Marge Kasten. The Orchestra did a Fall concert, the
Winter Pops featuring Jean Kittrell and the Rivermen, and the Taste
of Freedom concert, along with the annual Christmas Concert.
Special events included a string recital, a drama workshop, Trivia
Night, and the Okaw Valley show in February. St. Marys play
that year was Rapunzel. Playful Harmonies was a program
held for pre-school children in music. It met weekly for more than
Major donations were received this year from Faye Wham and the Albright
family. Major repairs done that year included having the roof painted,
the gutters repaired, and pouring a concrete pad for the dumpster.
Twenty-five new chairs were purchased which made an even 200 chairs
and six wireless microphones were purchased to use in Tommy.
Scholarship Recipients that year were Whitney Elmore, Loren Wilson,
Chris Wilson, and Renee Brubaker.
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