Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Living History Theatre project

Creating a Radio Drama: "Dangerous Women" by Living History Theatre. Yellow Springs, OH, playwright Kay Reimers explains the process behind her historical radio dramas. Her current work, "Dangerous Women," explores the beginning and end of the nearly century-long struggle to give women the right to vote. For more information, contact livinghistorytheatre@gmail.com.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Neighbors and guests give thanks at community dinner

by Susan Gartner

Friends, family, neighbors, and guests came together yesterday for the Annual Yellow Springs Community Thanksgiving Dinner at the First Presbyterian Church. Sponsored by the Yellow Springs Interspiritual Council, the event attracts young and old, friends and strangers, encouraging a spirit of community and connection.

"It’s kind of like sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner with two-hundred and ninety-nine family members.”

That’s how Dana Foster described the event when I spoke with her the morning after an estimated 300 guests showed up at the church. Foster is one of the coordinators of the Community Thanksgiving which holds a certain magical quality for me when I think of all the “elves” that help pull it off each year.

Coordination of the event is three months in the making with meetings starting in September. Volunteers are recruited in advance for a long list of tasks including the cooking of the turkeys, table set-up and clean-up, and washing dishes. Guests are invited (but not required) to bring a dish to share. The overflowing tables of food — including vegetarian and vegan entrees — suggests that Yellow Springs is a village that likes to cook!

Foster is grateful for all the assistance that makes the event so successful including the ad placed in the Yellow Springs News, courtesy of Jackson Lytle & Lewis Funeral Home, and the impromptu elves that turned up on Thanksgiving day.

“People just showed up early,” she said, “and asked, ‘What can I do?’”

The plan for next year is to reimburse the turkey cooks for the cost and preparation of the turkeys. This year’s free-range turkeys came from Tom’s Market and Foster hopes that next year’s cooks will follow in that tradition.

About 25 volunteers are needed the day of the event to cover tasks such as room set-up, keeping the serving tables continually supplied with dishes that are warming in the church’s oven, managing overflow and directing people to available seating, monitoring coffee and drinks, clearing dirty dishes from the tables, washing dishes, taking down tables, putting away chairs, and putting the room back in order.

Each year towards the end of the dinner, Foster makes the announcement encouraging guests to use one of the carryout containers provided, load it up with leftovers, and bring it to someone who was unable to attend. Foster would like this to become a more coordinated effort next year with homebound persons signing up in advance and volunteers committing to deliver the meals afterwards.

“You don’t even have to come to the meetings,” she assured future volunteers. “I do a lot of coordinating by e-mail.”

I asked Foster what the view was like from the kitchen – how were the volunteers holding up from the barrage of dirty dishes? “They were tired but happy,” she said. “They felt good about being part of such a good thing.” Foster herself enjoyed looking out over Westminster Hall and seeing villagers greeting strangers and engaging in conversation. “That’s the payback for us,” she said, “seeing people enjoying themselves, meeting new people, having good conversations, and eating good food prepared by villagers.”

As for Foster, herself, having a chance to enjoy the meal, she told me with a laugh, “I did sit down long enough to eat with my dad!”

For more information on volunteering or to get on the list of homebound persons who might enjoy a meal delivered next year, contact the church at 767-7751 or e-mail ysic@earthlink.net.

photos by Susan Gartner -- November 25, 2010
posted to A Yellow Springs Blog -- November 26, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holiday Fling in the Springs

Carolers, carriage rides, belly dancers and more made for a festive Friday night in downtown Yellow Springs. Included in the festivities was a free outdoor screening of "It's a Wonderful Life" hosted by Urban Handmade; an artist reception for Liz Zaff and "The Polaroid Project" at "Would You, Could You" In A Frame; and an artist reception for Jade Nikita McConnell and Travis Tarbox Hotaling at the Yellow Springs Arts Council Gallery complete with music by singer/songwriter Rachel Mousie and belly-dancing by Cami Knick and Erin Wolf.

photos by Susan Gartner -- November 19, 2010
posted to A Yellow Springs Blog -- November 21, 2010


Photo of Yellow Springer Anne Randolph

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Art faeries decorate Snowflake Tree

Last week, someone left an anonymous note criticizing a new yarn-bombing project by local Jafagirls (“Just Another Flippin’ Artist”) Nancy Mellon (in the hat) and Corrine Bayraktaroglu. To those unfamiliar with Nancy and Corrine’s work, they have brought international fame to Yellow Springs with their Knit Knot Tree (a tree in the downtown area that is sporting a handmade sweater) and ChamberPot (“Loo with a View”) Gallery (an art gallery housed in the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce restrooms). The two are also a part of the Dayton Street Alliance to beautify

and bring more traffic to Dayton and Corry Streets. Just this past spring, Dayton Street came alive when hundreds of colorful felted flowers of all shapes, sizes, and varieties suddenly and mysteriously began to appear on benches, railings, telephone poles, and trellises. Nancy and Corrine coordinated the series of Flower Power Sew-In's (which lasted from March through June) whereby volunteer sewers -- beginners and advanced -- met each Friday morning at Brother Bear's Coffeehouse to create wildly inventive flowers, leaves, and vines.

The note-writer scolded the two artists for not using their energies and resources on something more appropriate such as knitting sweaters for homeless people. Corrine wrote about the incident on their Jafagirl blog:


Undeterred, Nancy and Corrine continue to plan and plot their next artistic move.

I personally would like to acknowledge the efforts of these two village “elves” who devote themselves, tirelessly and voluntarily with no financial reimbursement, to making this town colorful and unique and for providing so many residents and visitors with unexpected treats (and photo opps) around every corner. I am always looking forward to what they will come up with next. We are lucky to have them.

To the anonymous note-writer: Thank you. We are blessed, once again, with another inspired and inspirational piece of art.

photo and video by Susan Gartner -- November 10, 2010
posted on A Yellow Springs Blog -- November 11, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tricks and treats

photos by Susan Gartner
published to A Yellow Springs Blog -- November 2, 2010

Yelloween 2010 in Yellow Springs, OH

"Yelloween" in Yellow Springs, October 30, 2010 -- featuring local DJ "Hallow Gene" mixing music for Ye Olde Trail Tavern's Creepy Carnival; music by Full Circle from the 3rd Annual Gravedancers' Ball at Corner Cone; "Thrill Yellow Springs" reprise at the BP gas station; and Dayton Street Alliance presents A Mad Hatter's Tea Party with musical guest, The Groove Prophets.

videos by Susan Gartner
posted to A Yellow Springs Blog -- November 3, 2010