HANCOCK COUNTY — A quick glance at Hancock County’s arts calendar for 2016 reveals a full year ahead of arts and artistry, music, dance, theater, festivals and events. Here are some of the things we can look forward to in the new year:
In 2016, the Hancock County Arts and Cultural Council will grow its event offerings. First up, the council presents Yasmina Reza’s Tony award-winning play, “God of Carnage” in February in a partnership with the CrazyLake Acting Co. Director Dennis Cole feels the intimate space of the council’s Twenty North Gallery, 20 N. State St., is the perfect venue for the four-person cast. “God of Carnage” dramatizes a meeting between two couples whose children were involved in altercation on the playground. Dates for this dark comedy are Feb. 26 and 27 and March 4 and 5.In April, the council’s Will Vawter Art Competition will award more than $2,000 in prize money to the winners of this annual celebration of Hancock County artist Will Vawter. Awards will be presented at the opening reception on April 8, and entries to the show will hang at Twenty North until May 13.This year, the council partners once again with Greenfield Main Street for the Bikes in Bloom initiative, which invites area businesses and organizations to decorate a vintage bike with flowers and decor for display in downtown Greenfield.
Chalkfest, a sidewalk chalk art competition, returns in mid-September. Artoberfest, which the council debuted last fall, is on the books for Sept. 17 as a fall celebration of music and art.
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The Brandywine Wind concert and jazz band, under the direction of founder Jerry Bell, will perform a number of concerts in 2016, including the popular 4th of July patriotic program in Riley Park. Look for the band to present its winter concert near the end of February or early March, followed by a spring concert the last weekend in May at the H.J. Ricks Centre for the Arts, 122 W. Main St. in downtown Greenfield.Festivals and FairsEach year, the Riley Festival in downtown Greenfield selects a theme based on a poem by Indiana’s poet laureate, James Whitcomb Riley. The theme for this year’s festival, Oct. 6 to 9, is “Indiana,” which coincides with the state’s bicentennial celebration. The festival features live entertainment, friendly competitions and exhibits for art and photography. Festivalgoers’ favorite parades will also return, with the Children’s Parade of Flowers on Friday and the larger Riley Festival Parade on Saturday morning.Popular weekend festivals are also gearing up for the new year. The 2016 date for the Pennsy Trail Art Fair and Music Festival is Saturday, Aug. 6, and the Cumberland Arts Goes to Market festival is set for Aug. 20.
The Riley Christmas Festival and Parade of Lights returns to downtown Greenfield Dec. 3.
Greenfield Community Choir
The Greenfield Community Choir, under the interim directorship of Matt Little, presents a Valentine’s Day dessert theater Feb. 13 at the Greenfield Christian Church, 23 N. East St. A concert scheduled for March features music by choral composer John Rutter. In April, the choir presents two nights of dinner theater with “Musical Moments from the Big Screen.”Hancock County Children’s ChoirThe Hancock County Children’s Choir, directed by Gayle Roschi, has scheduled its spring concert, entitled “Our Song Has Just Begun,” for April 9 at the Greenfield-Central High School auditorium, 810 N. Broadway St. With 85 participants, this choir, now in its fourth year, has sung at Carnegie Hall in New York City twice. A Christmas concert is scheduled for Dec. 3.
Hancock County Public Library
The Hancock County Public Library, 900 W. McKenzie Road, adds a full schedule of workshops for all ages in 2016, featuring painting, knitting, crocheting, writing and literature-related crafts and events. The library also offers films, book clubs and a variety of live entertainment from jazz quartets to folksingers.
Ricks-Weil Theatre Co.
The Ricks-Weil Theatre Co. continues its celebration of the end of World War II with a production of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” March 4, 5, 11, 12 and 13 at the Ricks Centre.Directed by Kathy Hoefgen, this new adaptation by Wendy Kesselman takes a detailed look at the lives of the Frank family, the van Daan family and Albert Dussel, all of whom hid from the Nazis in a very small space above Mr. Frank’s business in Amsterdam. It also deals with family dynamics and the three teenagers coming of age in very close quarters.
With this production, the company plans to honor both military veterans and first responders. The company also has plans for a summer musical, which will be announced at a later date.
Dance East Ballet Academy, run by Dana Hart, presents Dance in Bloom May 21 at the Ricks Centre and returns in December with “Little Things — A Christmas Ballet.”The Hancock County Children’s Theatre Workshop, under the direction of Pam Johnson and crew, presents the annual summer musical at the end of June at Greenfield-Central High School.
2016 brings multiple chances to see Cristy Corwin’s Hearts Ablaze Clogging group perform. The group will showcase its talents at Arts and Rummage Jan. 16 at the 4-H Fairgrounds, at Greenfield Idol in February, at the Hancock County Talent Contest in June, the Cumberland Arts Goes to Market festival in August and the Riley Festival in October.
KidsPlay Inc. children’s theater presents “Mission: Possible” at the end of April at the Ricks Centre.
Wilkerson Dance will present its spring showcase May 20 and 21 with a theme of “40 Years of Dance” to commemorate Wilkerson Dance’s 40th anniversary.
The Ricochet Cloggers, under the direction of Annie Wing, present their spring showcase in May at the Ricks Centre.
This is only a partial listing of all that will be happening in our county in 2016. To have your event included in future editions of Just 4 Fun, email firstname.lastname@example.org.