First Friday at The Ware Center Set for Today
Books, art and music will warm up the Ware Center for Lancaster's First Friday today, Dec. 5, where folks are invited to drop in out of the cold, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., to browse the art exhibits, listen to the holiday brass sound of Quintessentially Brass, and take in the joys of children's books and plays at the Lanc Co Lit Fest, sponsored by the Lancaster Literary Guild, which will offer milk and cookie snacks. For those with a holiday gift list in mind, books, art and jewelry will be available for sale (with proceeds from book sales going to benefit the Lancaster Literary Guild). The Ware Center is located at 42 N. Prince Street, Lancaster.
The Lancaster County Literature Fest will celebrate 11 local, acclaimed authors, playwrights and illustrators who have published works for young people, who will be on hand throughout the evening to sign autographs and give readings from their works. According to the event's coordinator, Sandy Asher, one of the featured authors of Lanc Co Lit Fest, "This event is an opportunity for readers and audiences of all ages to visit with the 'real, live' people behind the books and plays [they enjoy], who just happen to be their own neighbors here in Lancaster County. I had no idea when I began looking for participants that we had so many award-winning and accomplished writers and illustrators living nearby."
Those "neighbors," who will join Asher to present their works, include playwright Barry Kornhauser (who was the recipient of the 2014 Orlin Corey Medallion of the Children's Theater Foundation of America, the nation's most prestigious award in the field of theater for young audiences), children's book illustrators Barry Root and Kimberly Bulcken Root, and children's book authors Libby Sternberg, Karen Roosa, Maria Snyder, Rebecca Thatcher Murcia, Chet Williamson, Marty Crisp, and Linda Oatman High.
Highlighting the event, too, will be the announcement of Lancaster County's first Children's Laureate, an initiative of the Lancaster Literary Guild. Modeled after the Guild's successful Poet Laureate program and inspired by Children's Laureates in England, Ireland, Sweden, and Australia, the Lancaster County Children's Laureate program will consist of two-year appointments, during which the appointee, who must be a current county resident with "a distinguished body of trade-published work," according to Lancaster Literary Guild founder and director Betsy Hurley, will initiate countywide programs to encourage literacy and creativity.
Those attending the event will also be able to find information at the festival about literature and literacy-related programs of the Library System of Lancaster and United Way of Lancaster, including United Way's new "High Five Campaign for Every Child" drive, which aims to put new, free books into the homes of all Lancaster County children up to age 5.
Along with the Lanc Co Lit Fest, browsers at the Ware Center can take in fine art exhibitions by local artists Gail Gray and Richard Huck (whose artworks are for sale). Gray's abstract works, including painting, collage and fabric, will be on display in the Regitz Gallery through Dec. 16. The surreal, often whimsical artworks of Richard Huck, in colored pencil, graphite, watercolors and pastels, will be on view in Lyet Lobby through the end of December.
Also on view and available for sale will be the wearable art of Susan Garofola, owner of Suzshells & Glass, who designs and makes her one-of-a-kind pieces-including handmade necklaces, pendants, earrings and bracelets-from sea shells and sea glass she herself finds, often wrapped by handmade silver and gold wire and incorporating semi-precious stones.
Music to usher in the holiday season will also warm the Ware Center as the Lancaster brass quintet, Quintessentially Brass, takes the stage, featuring distinguished musical colleagues and friends Gene Clark (trumpet), who serves as president of the board of directors for Allegro, Doug Albert (trumpet), Kristen Albert (horn), Andy Walls (trombone) and Geoff Davis (tuba).
Additionally, as part of its Family Fun Fest series, the Ware Center will present "East Meets West" at 7 p.m. The show, comprised of vignettes blending characters and ideas from Asian and Western cultures and performed with original music, traditional Chinese dance and hand puppets, rod puppets and marionettes (or string puppets), is the creation of Beijing-born conceptual artist Hua Hua Zhang, a puppet designer and sculptor, choreographer and performer, and founder of her company, Visual Expressions.
Children may come to the Ware Center one hour before the show, at 6 p.m., to participate in creative, hands-on activities that reflect the themes of the show and enjoy a delicious, nutritious snack. After the show, they will have the opportunity to meet the artist. Tickets ($8 for adults & $5 for children 12 & under) are required for this show and can be purchased by calling 717-871-7600 or visit www.ArtsMU.com or on sale at the Ware Center one hour prior to the start of the performance.
The Arts at Millersville University are made possible by Season Partner Rodgers & Associates and Season Sponsors include: Aussie & the Fox, Clipper Magazine, Hagelgans & Veronis, Hotel Lancaster, 12:34 MicroTechnologies, Ann B. Barshinger, Peggy Neff, Mary S. Burton & Laurent Home, Linda Holman Marcks, Mary Kearns and Jon Walker. Media Sponsors are: Fig Lancaster Magazine, Fine Living Lancaster, and the Lancaster Library System. The film series is sponsored by Carmen & David's Creamery.