ARTSNCT and Newcomerstown

We need your help ... please.

Our current goal is to obtain the historic Mary Worley Gunn property on Canal Street and rejuvenate the interior and exterior space into the headquarters for ARTSNCT and, at the same time, save the beautiful downtown structure for our community and for future generations.


What We Aspire to Do

#1 Establish a headquarters and provide needed space for ARTSNCT

Interior space to include:

  • a contemporary art and craft gallery/gift shop featuring artworks from local artists as well as artists throughout the state of Ohio
  • classroom and workshop spaces for visual and performing arts
  • meeting space that may be utilized by other community organizations as well as ARTSNCT
  • a small but unique arts related reference library with free WiFi and private study space

Exterior space to include:

  • landscaped grounds in a park-like setting to be used for special events, socials, and community events
  • space for an annual summer drama youth camp
  • outdoor performance space
  • a collection of outdoor art and sculptures

#2 Save a historic structure for our community and future generations

The property is a historical site that once faced the old canal and witnessed a multitude of historical events.

The structure has fallen into disrepair due to many years of abandonment and neglect.

Inside, the plaster is falling; the wood is rotting. Vines and weeds are growing inside through cracks and broken windows. Much of the plumbing is missing, possibly removed and sold by vandals. There is no heating or air conditioning system; only the shell of an old radiator heat boiler. And the electrical wiring is dangerously not up to code. Yes, there is much work to do.

ARTSNCT will seek out private, state, and federal grants to aid in establishing the property and the organization as a proud asset to Tuscarawas county, Newcomerstown and its residents.


#3 Aid in the revitalization of downtown Newcomerstown

Developing and rejuvenating the property will also have an impact on the revitalization of downtown Newcomerstown. The structure and property are important not only because of its history but too many buildings in the village have already disappeared leaving vacant lots and unattractive parking lots that make many areas of the community look like bombed-out and deserted areas; some overgrown with weeds and trash.

It is important to preserve this property and not allow it to disappear, or even become a boarded up warehouse or junk yard in our downtown area.

From this location, ARTSNCT's objective is to work with the Newcomerstown Public Library, the Newcomerstown School System, and several county and state arts organizations to augment other educational programs that are currently being offered.


As an alliance of the arts, the mission of ARTSNCT is to actively support and promote the education of the arts through training, performance, exhibition, publication, and other means possible. 

ARTSNCT INC. is currently recognized by the State of Ohio as a nonprofit charity organization dedicated to bringing all forms of visual and performing arts to Newcomerstown, Ohio and the tri-county area. We are seeking IRS 501(c)3 status and hope to have it in place soon. 

100% of ALL PROCEEDS from and stay in Newcomerstown to support and ensure the success of ARTSNCT for our youth and our community. 

“The arts are an essential element of education, 
just like reading, writing, and arithmetic … 
music, dance, painting, and theatre are all keys
that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment.” 
— William Bennett, Former U.S. Secretary of Education

1. Performance Arts

Plays, Musicals, Dance, Concerts, Competitions, Stand-up Comedy and more. 

ARTSNCT puts a special emphasis on the performing arts and sponsors its own group of dedicated actors, artists, and stage crew known as Not Your Average Theatre Group. The group is open to all ages and all skill levels. Two to four different productions are planned for each arts season and are presented to the public at minimal or no cost. 

Officers for 2017-2018 season are: Kobe Lower, president; Sarah Gamble, vice president; Maddie Rehard, Secretary; Mia Cadle, Treasurer; and Nash Bricker, Social Chairman. Brenda Wise is serving as the group's coordinator. 

Private donations and fundraising help to ensure the success, availability, and quality of our programs. 

2. Visual Arts

Painting, Sculpting, Crafts, Photography, Design, Film Making and more. 

With an emphasis on creativity, ARTSNCT promotes visual arts through painting, drawing, cartooning, jewelry making, glassblowing and other contemporary craft. Training classes to be offered by partnered artists and organizations.

“After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, 
science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. 
The greatest scientists are artists as well.” 
— Albert Einstein

3. Education and Training

Classes, Workshops, Seminars, Private Tutoring and Instruction. 

ARTSNCT has partnered with a number of individuals and organizations throughout the tri-county area to offer specialized educational training in music, dance, art, and photography at minimal or no cost. 

4. Gallery and Gift Shop 

Presenting artworks of local artists and promoting the works of Ohio artists.

ARTSNCT will soon launch an online gift shop featuring works of art and other related objects of art and design from local and national artists.  

All proceeds from the sales will go to help support ARTSNCT for our youth and our community.

5. Community Involvement

Our youth and the entire community are encouraged to become active participants in all of the events and projects that ARTSNCT offers. The support of the  local area has been overwhelmingly positive and strong thus far. 

“The arts are not a frill. The arts are a response to our individuality and our nature, and help to shape our identity. What is there that can transcend deep difference and stubborn divisions? The arts. They have a wonderful universality. Art has the potential to unify. It can speak in many languages without a translator. The arts do not discriminate.  The arts can lift us up.” 
— Former Texas Congresswoman Barbara Jordan 

6. Community Development

ARTSNCT is and will be a major part of the downtown revitalization of Newcomerstown.

 “The arts are the best insurance policy a city can take on itself.” 
— Woody Dumas, former Mayor of Baton Rouge, LA 

7. Leadership and Support

ARTSNCT began laying its solid groundwork several years ago with a vision of its founder and executive director, Michael Wise. Michael was born and raised in Newcomerstown and returned to his hometown after 32 years in Washington, DC. He is a musician, artist and photographer, and is co-founder of Ariodante Gallery in New Orleans, LA. His photographs are in the private collections of numerous celebrities and dignitaries. A group of four photos are in the 9/11 Collection at the New York Public Library, and three of his paintings were featured in a televised PBS art auction. 

Michael A. Wise
Founder/Executive Director, ARTSNCT INC.

Board of Directors 

Two of the organization’s board of director positions are held by two Washington, DC area professionals; Eric S. Spears, President and Andrew T. Wackerfuss, PhD, Vice President. Their connections and resources to the arts in the Washington area will help to provide greater opportunities for the organization’s success.  The board’s secretary/treasurer and executive director positions are filled by local residents. 

Eric S. Spears
Senior Technical Writer/Editor, Human Solutions, Inc. 
President, ARTSNCT INC.

Andrew T. Wackerfuss, PhD
Professor, Georgetown University
Vice President, ARTSNCT INC.

Catherine L. Cameron
Secretary/Treasurer, ARTSNCT INC.


Honorary Board Members

The Honorable Pat Cadle
Mayor, Newcomerstown, Ohio
Honorary Chairman, ARTSNCT INC.

Heather Stein-Wells
Member, Newcomerstown City Council
President, Newcomerstown Emergency Rescue Squad
Honorary Director, ARTSNCT INC.

K. Kristie Wilkin
Member, Newcomerstown City Council
Honorary Director, ARTSNCT INC.

Dave Archer
Member, Newcomerstown Board of Education
Manager, DoverPhila Federal Credit Union
Honorary Director, ARTSNCT INC.

Jeff Staggs
Superintendent, Newcomerstown School System
Honorary Director, ARTSNCT INC.

David 'Cody' Addy
Director, Newcomerstown Public Library
Honorary Director, ARTSNCT INC.

Advisory Council 

Kathy Ellis
Mary Lynn Berkshire
, Studio 3
Dance & Movement , ARTSNCT INC.

Tyler J. Butler
Ohio University
Music & Audio Engineering, ARTSNCT INC.

Brenda J. Wise
Not Your Average Theatre Group, ARTSNCT INC.

Kay Gossett Dennis
Wardrobe, ARTSNCT INC.

8. Bully Free Zone

ARTSNCT adheres to a strict anti-bullying policy. 

ARTSNCT is a safe place where our youth and our entire community can come and feel welcome and at home. It encourages creativity without limits and offers itself as an exciting alternative to loneliness, self-imposed exile, boredom, or turning to drugs.

We laugh with you, not at you. Join us. Be yourself. 

Let your creativity flow and your imagination soar.

It's ok to be different ... we are all different.  

"Be who you are and say what you feel, 
because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." 
—  Dr. Seuss

Please Help Us!

Support us with any donation amount of your choice

Donations may be made here through our secure online merchant services account or mailed directly to:

ARTSNCT INC. (#817699)
c/o Dover Phila Credit Union
5465 E. State Road
Newcomerstown, OH 43832



c/o Michael A. Wise
515 S. College Street
Newcomerstown, OH 43832

Click Here to Donate Online Now

Donations may be made anonymously or in memory of a loved one. All donors (or memorials) will be recognized inside the entrance to the organization. Should we fail to raise enough funds to obtain this specific property, all donations will remain in the fund to secure another suitable location within Newcomerstown and advance the proposed programs of ARTSNCT.

A Win-Win Situation for Our Community

Donors can be assured that all funds will help our community.

100% of ALL PROCEEDS from and stay in Newcomerstown to support and ensure the success of ARTSNCT for our youth and our community. All funds and assets are guaranteed to stay in Newcomerstown. If, for any reason in the future, ARTNSNCT should cease operations and dissolve the organization, its funds and assets will be transferred to another 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in Newcomerstown, such as the Newcomerstown Historical Society, or Newcomerstown Music Boosters. Federal law requires property to be transferred from one nonprofit to another during dissolution, but ARTSNCT bylaws go one step further by stipulating that the other nonprofit must be in Newcomerstown.