A NOTE FROM MICHAEL
Back In My Hometown
I have now been back in my hometown for just over three and one-half years and I am very happy to be here.
After living within blocks of The White House in Washington, D.C. for 36 years and in the French Quarter of New Orleans for four, many of my friends did not think I would adjust to moving back to Newcomerstown ... but I have.
I'm back helping my mother when she needs me the most. I'm back in the house my brother and I were born in. I'm back in the small town that seemed so magical when I was a child. I'm back where people are people ... and very friendly.
When I was a teen, many of us thought we had nothing to do in Newcomerstown. But we had a movie theater, a skating rink, a youth center, and the Luncheonette, among other places, to hang out in while we ate and played pinball games with our friends.
Today, our local youth do not have as many options as we did.
Some adults talk about today's youth staying indoors playing video games and not going outside much. Or about youth that seem to have nothing to do but experiment with alcohol and drugs.
These youth have very few places to go to stimulate their creativity or to let their imaginations soar.
I looked around and what I saw was youth trying to fit in with their peers. And I saw shy youth that find it hard to make friends or to simply just 'be themselves.'
The arts have always been a place of belonging, caring, and nurturing. Yes, artistic groups are competitive but they bond and become a family. They laugh 'with' each other and not 'at' each other. They inspire thought and creativity in each other while making friends and developing healthy social skills.
The arts create a safe place where youth and adults alike can go, relax, and forget their problems for a time. It can be therapeutic.
ARTSNCT intends to be a space that locals of any age can enjoy. A space for creating, for learning, for developing skills and talents ... and for being entertained while bonding with old friends or making new ones ... a place for having fun.
I hope you will consider joining us and support our efforts.
Michael A. Wise
ARTSNCT - An Alliance of the Arts is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to bringing all forms of visual and performing arts to Newcomerstown, Ohio and the tri-county area.
Our mission is to actively support and promote the education of the arts through training, performance, exhibition, publication, and other means possible.