Partners, volunteers plant seeds of success

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Debbie Jaillette

What a summer – and how quickly fall has arrived!

Thank you, friends, family, business associates and members for the many ways you have welcomed me as the new executive director of the Lancaster County Council of the Arts.  

For me, coming to work in the beautiful, historic Springs House every day in the community I love (with access to a beautiful grand piano on the first floor) is a sign that life is good.

Before mentioning future LCCA happenings, it is my pleasure to first introduce our 2011-12 board of directors and officers. Officers are: David Platts, president; Amy Overcash, vice president; Heather Blackmon, secretary; and  Mary Bernsdorff, treasurer. 

The board of directors includes Gigi Biggerstaff, Pat Clancy, Erick Crawford, Cherry Doster, David Ghent, Monica Harris, Marianne Palladino and Tonya Woody.

Lasting appreciation goes to board members Steward Beasley, Ron Cox, Cecile Flanders, Bob Willetts, Mark Plyler and Keith Wheeler, who finished their terms on June 30.

Someone wise once told me a board (governance) in good order is a major predictor of long-term success. You can see by the names of these forward-thinking community builders that LCCA’s future is in good shape. 

These individuals and I share the understanding of the value of the arts in a society, which is one way to gauge the health of a community.   

Lancaster is fortunate to have so many talented artists, musicians, dancers, but the arts are about creativity and cognitive ability, as well.  

An “artist” designed the houses we live in, the clothes we wear and the cars we drive. In addition, research has proven that children who are exposed regularly to the arts are more creative and successful problem solvers as they grow up to adulthood. That is all the more reason to be part of and support the good work of this organization.

The LCCA had a successful fiscal 2010-11 despite the constant strain of funding cuts and the current economic situation. Our program successes include Arts and Sciences Camp, Southside Early Childhood Center, Steele Hill Summer Camp, “The Nutcracker” ballet and the Charlotte Symphony for area fifth-graders. Our strong, healthy partnership with the Lancaster County School District and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts continues to reap benefits for young artists and musicians.  

Already this fall we have sponsored a beautiful community bridal fair – I DO! Ladies Afternoon Out.

Night of the Living Arts – a creepy crawl downtown” is part of an all-out downtown celebration with See Lancaster’s Finally Friday on Oct. 28. We will have an interesting twist on our art crawl, with beverage and food tastings, art exhibits, live music, prizes and awards, a renowned storyteller and vendors.  We hope you will come out to support our arts programming and our fine downtown businesses from 5 to 10 p.m. that day. 

At 7 p.m. Nov. 21, more than 70 children and youth dancers from our community will perform “The Nutcracker” ballet with the Columbia City Ballet at Lancaster High School auditorium. 

“Nutcracker” tickets go on sale at the Springs House Gallery next week. 

Please stop by the historic Springs House to see what’s happening. Throughout September and October, we have proudly displayed the 62 works of art in the 2011 Marian Hagins Memorial Arts Competition.

David Baker, a talented local photographer, will have his collection on display during the arts crawl and the month of November. The reception and welcome for the Baker exhibit is 3 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Springs House. 

For more details about any of these events, please call (803) 285.7451 or join us online via Facebook (www.facebook.com/lccarts); Twitter (www.twitter.com/LancasterSCarts) and our website (www.lccarts.net). Please contact us if you would like to be an LCCA volunteer or buy a membership.

This column will be written each month always with an attitude of gratitude on my part, although I will not always be able to thank everyone by name. This month, I must purposely thank our board, Whitney Williams, Susan Graves, Kim Hyclak and Sam Courtney for what they have done (as volunteers) to promote and enhance the mission of the LCCA.  

Arts. Imagination starts here. 


 – Debbie Jaillette is executive director of Lancaster County Council of the Arts.