Why do you do what you do?
This is a question rarely asked or seriously answered. The truest answer for all of us is, “because it makes me feel good!” I am most fortunate because what makes me feel good is also that which I do best — promoting and participating in the arts.
I am the volunteer host for the Channel 11 TV show “State of the Arts.” I have been in that position for more than 10 years. My participation in the arts began as a child dancing all by myself to “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by the Andrews Sisters (1944).
It continued in school with Cecil Armitage, music director at Timken Vocational High School, as I watched him create and direct the “Timken Revue,” an all-school talent show.
Today, I am the founder/director of Rainbow Repertory Co. (1994) and Canton Cabaret Dinner Theatre (2005). Both are nonprofit organizations. Rainbow’s mission is to advance the community through the arts by original social issue and educational plays and programs.
The Cabaret Dinner Theatre (initiated by Arts in Stark) provides funding for Rainbow programs; employment for local singers and musicians; a venue that attracts a growing tourist trade for Stark County.
What is on your bucket list?
Pondering this question (actually for the first time) led me to discover that I don’t have one. That led me to ask,“Why not?” My best answer is because I’ve always accepted the opportunities and challenges that are presented to me.
Perhaps, though, I could begin a list with “I’m going to create a Bucket List someday!”
What is on your mind?
Next to my family and personal friends, I love Canton and Stark County best. During my interviews with Canton newcomers on “State of the Arts,” they have shared similar impressions about us. They love the low cost of living, the friendliness and the abundance of great health care and educational institutions.
However, another impression they have about us is that, in many ways, we are provincial and closed-minded (their exact words). Although I do not see us that way, I believe we need to listen to first impressions. It is a great coincidence — or perhaps, serendipitous — that The Repository has initiated its 20/20 program. I look forward to being a part of it.
What: Playwright/drama director/community volunteer.
Education: Timken Vocational High School 1957, Walsh College 1990.
Community activities: Past president: Multi-Development Services, Coming Together Stark County; past board member, Arts in Stark, Las Madres y los Ninos, Soroptimist International; board member, Rainbow Repertory Company, Illuminarts; past member of Ad Hoc Timken Campus Arts Planning Committee, Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce committees, Ad Hoc Junior League Playright Committee, Stark Youth Arts Council, Compass/United A Way Committee, Mayor’s Literacy Commission.