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A Irish session band held court at Ye Olde Trail Tavern on Saturday, March 12. Playing were Kenton Domer-Shank on accordion, Patrick Foose on banjo, Ken Beer on fiddle, Parker Buckley on mandolin and Tim Daugherty on the anglo concertina. (Photo by Reilly Dixon)

2022 In Review | The Arts

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• After two years of following COVID-19 pandemic protocols that forced many arts and culture organizations to host virtual gatherings, 2022 saw the return of many in-person events around town.

• The Emporium reopened its exhibition space with shows from artists Dylan Sage and Gary Birch. Big Art Studio Collective members Chelle Palassis, Sharri Phillips, Karen Russell and Sarah Strong held a group show at the Winds in the final month of 2022.

• Michael Casselli, an Antioch College alum and associate professor of sculpture and installation, became the new creative director at Antioch’s Herndon Gallery in August. The gallery organized a series of group exhibitions, including  “Black History: A Work in Progress,” and “Flourishing.”

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• The World House Choir returned from its pandemic hiatus with a spring concert featuring 12 “returned,” or formerly incarcerated citizens. The choir went on to perform concerts in the fall, notably “Louverture Exchange: A Musical Dialogue,” a collaboration with local rapper and producer Guy “Tronee Threat” Banks, and Cincinnati-born internationally acclaimed France-based musician Napoleon Maddox and French producer and musician Sorg.

• In the spring, the Little Art Theatre hosted the Yellow Springs debut of the Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar directed documentary, “This Time This Place,” centered on Dave Chappelle’s summer performances at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A Powerful Thang,” which was shot in and around Yellow Springs in the summer of 1990, will screen at the Little Art on Saturday, April 2. Actors Asma Feyijinmi and John Earl Jelks, who portray characters Yasmine and Craig in Zeinabu irene Davis’ film.

• Later, the Little Art screened former Antioch professor Zeinabu irene Davis’ 1990 film “A Powerful Thang,” which was shot in and around Yellow Springs in the summer of 1990.

• The Yellow Springs Theater Company’s 10-Minute Play Festival returned in the summer with the following productions: “Dust,” by Rebecca Kuder, of Yellow Springs, directed by Kuder; “The Moors,” by Cris Eli Blak, of Houston, Texas, directed by Shekinah Williams; “Working From Home,” by Kristina Cordova and Rosemary Burmester, of Yellow Springs; directed by Cordova; “All Kinds of Love, or Maggie,” by Lee Huntington, of Yellow Springs, directed by Lorrie Sparrow-Knapp; “The Wallet,” by Matt Raska and Reilly Dixon, of Yellow Springs, directed by Raska and Dixon; “The Oracle’s Dilemma, ” by Lauren Shows, of Yellow Springs, directed by Shows; and “Biology: An Education,” by Anthony Fife, of Yellow Springs, directed by Ellen Ballerene.

• Later in the summer, the company also debuted “Pop-Up Shakespeare’’ performances of scenes and soliloquies mounted outside, in public spaces downtown.

• The Shakespeare Reading Group returned temporarily to in-person gatherings, meeting on Sundays at the Senior Center to read Shakespeare aloud for the first time in two years.

Villager Ellen Ballerene, left, is one of three Yellow Springs actors who will star in the Beavercreek Community Theatre’s upcoming performance of “Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery,” Oct. 21–23 and 28–30. In center is David Shough as Sherlock Holmes, the famed consulting detective himself; at right is Ryan Hester as Dr. John Watson. (Photo by Lauren “Chuck” Shows)

• Local actors including Robb Willoughby, Ellen Ballerene, Reilly Dixon and Ryan Hestor performed in the Sherlock Holmes inspired play “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” produced by the Beavercreek Community Theatre.

• New Yellow Springs resident and comedian Donnell Rawlings hosted a series of family-friendly community events over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, dubbed “Donnell Land,” which included kayaking down the Little Miami River and a kickball game in Gaunt Park. In October, Rawlings also organized a charity pickleball match with resident Donna Silvert. The event raised funds for the Yellow Springs Community Children’s Center, The 365 Project and Antioch College.

• Musician and dancer Nikole Manieri taught a series of traditional southern Italian dance and drumming classes called “Tammurriata,” or “Dance on the Drum,” at the Wellness Center in September.

• “Una Great Movie,” an independent film directed by YS-born Jennifer Sharp, debuted digitally on Amazon in July.

Cast and crew of the short film “Paul Laurence Dunbar: An American Poet,” written and directed by villager Kane Stratton, which debuts at the Dayton Film Festival this week. In front, from left: actors A. Slate, the late MyJoyce Filer, Timothy Cox and Tanner James Brown; in back: Desirée Levingston, park ranger Bob Pederson, editor Zack Richeimer, Stratton and Henry Coffield. They are pictured in front of the Paul Laurence Dunbar House, a National Historic Landmark. (Submitted photo by Kane Stratton)

• “Paul Laurence Dunbar: An American Poet,” a 10-minute historical film produced by  Xenia-based Caesar’s Ford Theatre and directed by the theater’s project manager and playwright, YS resident Kane Stratton, debuted at the Dayton Film Festival screening at The Neon movie theater in September.

• A Little Free Library, with a design inspired by traditional African American quilt making, was installed at Gaunt Park and dedicated by the Yellow Springs branch of the Greene County Public library. The library will be filled with books themed around social and racial justice. The structure also received a VIDA award from the Public Arts and Culture Commission, which was presented to Keith and Elaine Kresge and David Mader.

“Clean Gene” Lohman spun some of his favorite tracks at the Gulch Saloon on Friday afternoon, May 27, just as he does every other Friday at the bar. Earlier this month, he was recognized for his decades of DJing in Yellow Springs when he received the annual presented Village Inspiration and Design Award. (Photo by Reilly Dixon)

• Local disc jockey legend and longtime village resident “Clean Gene” Lohman was also awarded a VIDA award in May, honoring his over half a century of contribution to the local music scene.

• Clifton Crafthouse Co-op’s Creators’ Market opened this fall, featuring art available for purchase from members of the co-op.

• Two annual traditions returned in-person: the Winter Solstice Poetry reading held at the Vernet Ecological Center at Glen Helen Nature Preserve and The Valerie Blackwell-Truitt Community Dance and Performance Arts Concert and Art Exhibition at the Foundry Theater, both this December.

• After 27 years, the Yellow Springs Kids Playhouse, one of the village’s longest running and most beloved theater companies, drew its final curtain in October with an “It’s a Wrap” gala fundraiser for a YSKP Endowed Legacy Scholarship.

From left: Keith Kresge, David Mader and Elaine Kresge have helped build a new Little Free Library, soon to be installed at Gaunt Park. The project was spearheaded by Yellow Springs Community Library Youth Librarian Nacim Sajabi. (Photo by Lauren “Chuck” Shows)

• Artist Lindsay Williams was profiled for her local gallery and shop presence, selling furry art under the mantle of Golden Mane Illustrations, which she says is inspired by the furry community and geared toward empowering the disabled, LGBTQIA+, mental health and other marginalized communities.

• Yellow Springs-born, Chicago-based professional musician and violinist Anne Harris and Nashville-based luthier Amanda Ewing were featured for their unique collaboration. Ewing worked to produce a violin for Harris — the first such instrument produced by a Black woman luthier for a Black woman fiddle player in recorded history.

• Writers with local ties, including Barbara Fleming, Scottt Geisel, Rebecca Kuder, Robert Freeman Wexler, Harold Wright, Kelli Zaytoun and Moriel Rothman-Zecher released books.

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One Response to “2022 In Review | The Arts”

  1. BJ says:

    Dang, Didn’t participate in any of it and still got COVID for the holidays. Now working on uplifting my mood via mindfulness practice. One thing I did discover is that my Fibromyalgia flare up following my mild bout of Covid has proven worse than the virus itself for me. I did not anticipate that. I’m hoping this is a better year for health for everyone and perhaps an even more effective vaccine will emerge.

    I am celebrating less than 14 years sustained sobriety. That is my good news 🙂 Thanks.

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