At the Governor’s Awards for the Arts celebration at the Scranton Cultural Center, guess who plugged the film “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” one of the films in the upcoming Dietrich Fall Film Festival? It was Frances Wolf, Governor Tom Wolf’s wife.
Mrs. Wolfe noted that Fred Rogers won the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in Film/Video in 1982. Frances Wolf said, “Make sure to see this acclaimed movie.”
Many of you have asked for it, and now we can say it will be at the Dietrich Theater at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2:15 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, noon Sunday, Sept. 30 and noon Thursday, Oct. 4.
What a celebration of the arts it was. The Governor’s Awards in Pennsylvania have been given since 1980 and this year’s recipients were Louis Massiah of the Scribe Video Center in West Philadelphia for Arts Leadership and Service, Mira Nakashima for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts for her mastery of wood, C.F. Martin & Co., Inc., one of the world’s leading guitar makers, for Special Recognition for Advancing the Arts; Tina Williams Brewer, fiber artist, Artist of the Year; and Quiara Hudes, playwright for the Distinguished Arts Award. A video presentation showed the amazing work of all these amazing artists. What a celebration of talent and diversity.
Each of these artists had a chance to tell about their roots, their families, and how their art reflects their backgrounds and aspirations. Mira Nakashima, a second-generation honoree and daughter of George Nakashima, spoke of coming to New Hope after her involuntary internment in Idaho during World War II. Chris Martin spoke of his great, great, great-grandfather emigrating from Germany to the Lehigh Valley America in 1833, needing only confirmation of who he was by the ship’s captain to obtain entry. Tina Williams Brewer celebrates her African American roots and journey through story quilts, telling stories of family, women, and spirituality. All honorees are a testament that, unless we are Native Americans, we are all here from immigrant roots with stories to be celebrated in the arts.
So what is coming up at the Dietrich? Speaking of celebrations, Gathering of Singer/Songwriters will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22 at 7:30 p.m. and is truly a celebration of folk music talent in NEPA. Four musicians, assembled by Lorne Clarke, bring their own interpretations of life, love, injustice, hardship, happiness, to the Dietrich stage. Just four artists with their acoustic instruments and their original songs. Lorne Clark, Tom Flannery, Bret Alexander, and Hannah Bingman will all be here. Gathering of Singer/Songwriters is our longest-lasting event at the Dietrich Theater, this year in its 18th year, a homegrown tradition, and you are invited. Admission is free with donations encouraged to keep this tradition alive.
And two days later, why not come to Open Mic at the Dietrich at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24.? Ever popular singer/songwriter Corky Staats from Montrose returns with his original songs. If you would like to take the stage before Corky performs, come to Open Mic at 6:30 p.m. Perhaps you play an instrument or sing or have a poem or a piece of music or a comedy routine. Maybe you have another talent to share. You are invited to come and try out your routine at Open Mic. Or just come to see the talent that does show up. You know Corky Staats will be there.
So will we see you soon? For a movie on one of our four screens? For a concert? For Open Mic? For the best popcorn in NEPA? We hope to see you soon. And often!