Something old, something new

Two of the young artists from the East Liverpool Area Community & Learning Center decorate the Little Free Library boxes that will be housed at the Center and at Thompson Park. (Submitted photo)

S omething old and something new is generally associated with a new bride, and goes along with “something borrowed and something blue.” Wedding bells will be ringing early next month when the Banquet Hall will again be transformed into a fairyland of loveliness in celebration of a wedding reception on Oct. 6. It was at the Community Center where the couple first met while viewing movies in the Farmers Conference Room. It was also in that same room several years later that the bride-to-be accepted his proposal of marriage. The opportunity to discover romance at the Community Center is probably one of its least known and best-kept secrets.

Something old and something new also accurately describes the upcoming activities at the Center as it begins its fall season. The start of the Legacy & Legends lectures, now in its third year, will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 4 — the day after Labor Day. The event pays homage to one of our own prodigies of the upper Ohio Valley — Lance Schultz. We can all be proud that we have our very own writer, producer and director of movies who hails from our greater tri-state community.

Lance has devoted his career to producing movies that have been shown on PBS, National Geographic, Discovery, WQED and other pubic media providers while exploring with and educating the American people concerning matters of great significance. In the course of doing so, Lance has visited places in the world normally not available to other Americans.

One recent movie by Mr. Schultz deals with the project of Israeli violinmaker Amnon Weinstein and his efforts to restore violins recovered from the Nazi concentration camps where Jewish prisoners awaited death at the hands of their captors under Adolph Hitler. The film is narrated by Academy Award Winner Adrien Brody. The movie is entitled “Violins of Hope, Strings of the Holocaust,” which first aired on the PBS network. The movie will be shown in its entirety at the lecture.

Providing the background music for the movie was the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra. As a special surprise feature on Sept. 4, second seat violinist of the Symphony Orchestra, Scott Webber, will be present. He will play his violin accompanied on the piano by choir director Alison Hamilton of the Beaver Local Music Department. Immediately following the movie, Mr. Schultz and Mr. Webber will field questions from the audience about the movie and violins. Lance will also discuss his most recent movie about the first African-American Theatre in the United States, located in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Community Center serves as Trustee of the Cleda Marie Fitzjohn Music Trust. The Trust has been a project in progress since the beginning of the year. The Trust Board of Directors held its second meeting last week as it made plans for obtaining applications from students of the tri-state area seeking assistance in pursuit of their dreams of developing their skills in the field of music. Michelle Bernardi of Oak Glen Schools serves as chairman of the board. Bill Crawford of Team Mojo Foundation was a guest at the meeting. The two boards intend to work together to better accomplish their shared goal to assist area youth seeking to pursue learning music performance.

Board members discussed ways to distribute the applications for assistance, which must be received by Oct. 15. Applications will be available through area schools and at the Community Center. Grants in the initial year of the Trust will focus on providing students with funds for musical instruments, lessons on their instruments, music scores, travel expenses in order to receive instruction, or other types of assistance to those students in need.

The Little Free Library boxes have been built by DiLoreto Construction, courtesy of the East Liverpool Rotary Club. They will be located at the Community Center and in Thompson Park. Initially, the books placed into the boxes will be provided by the East Liverpool Carnegie Library. However, people who help themselves to books in the boxes are encouraged to replace the books from some from their own library. The program is in conjunction with a national organization of the same name. They have found that people do enjoy receiving and borrowing books from these boxes and they want to share their own books with others. Center Resident Artist Lora Russell and some of her young students helped decorate the boxes with their artistic renderings.

Every so often it seems that one can hear an “angel bell” being rung at the Center when a new volunteer steps up to the hospitality desk and volunteers to share his or her time to initiate a new worthwhile program. This is particularly so when that person is willing to spearhead the project. This past week, that bell could be heard again. Scott Kidd produced his laptop that contains more than 560 classic movies. Scott would like to share his collection with others who come to the Center. He has proposed to screen the movies in the new surround sound Center Theatre.

It was decided to take the idea to people of the community for their comment. A couple of ideas put forth were to form a weekly evening Theatre Club that would view and then exchange impressions of these screen classics, the directors and the actors. Mr. Kidd would be the initial commentator but others in a club might also take their turns. Area retirement homes could be invited to a bring a bus load of their residents to participate in an evening of fun and reminiscences of days gone by. Contact the Center if you are interested.

Out of respect for the Labor Day holiday and the volunteers who give so generously of their time to maintaining and manning the Community Center, the Center will be closed Monday. The Center is open seven days a week and draws its staff entirely from community volunteers. We hope that you will all enjoy your holiday as will our faithful volunteers.

Foundation President Mike Parkes and Center Manager Jim Lewis are planning an Extravaganza at the Community Center on Saturday, Oct. 27. The event was inspired by the Expo last May celebrating the beginning of summer. Unlike the Expo then that catered to the youth of the area, this event will offer much more in the way of adult entertainment.

The committee plans to have a Vendors Craft Show running all day with drawings for gifts donated by the vendors. Band groups will provide entertainment in the Blair Auditorium during the afternoon. Food service will include a variety of types of food and refreshments for sale throughout the day. The committee is planning to screen the movie of Pretty Boy Floyd in the Center Theatre that was produced and enacted by locals. This could be coupled with a display of vintage vehicles to create a Roaring 20s atmosphere. With Halloween so close at hand some adults and children might want to dress the part. The Center Exhibit Halls will be open and will feature works of art of local artist Hans Hacker, the extensive Harker Pottery collection, and a Conley display of Homer Laughlin china ware.

For the younger set there will be a Talent Show, the Center Youth Choir will perform and students of Resident Artist Lora Russell will hold their second Art Show and Competition. Judges will select winners in various categories for cash prizes. A new Little Free Library box will be on display and the Teen Zone area will be open for youth activities. Several surprises are planned for the parking lot to greet guests upon their arrival. Tenants of the Center will be involved in various activities during the day. This includes the East Liverpool Lions Club, the Beacons and the Center Youth Choir. The Committee will meet at the Center on Sept. 13 at 5:30 p.m. to wrap up its plans

It has been necessary to cancel the October Legacy & Legends lecture this year. However on Oct. 9 there will be a special wine tasting event conducted by the Ohio Wine Producers Association headquartered at Geneva, Ohio. A similar event for guests to discover about the finest of Ohio wine producers and a sampling of some fruits of their labor was held at the Center several years ago and was quite well received.

No admission fee for members of the Legacy & Legends Series will be charged for the event. The public will be invited and there will be admission fee charged to non-members. Attendees may make reservations through the Center by calling 330-303-2110. Additional information about this special event will be available in future articles in this newspaper and on the web page of the Center at and its Facebook page.