Knocked out by
what I saw in Lima
A couple of weeks ago, The Lima City Schools Arts Program imported me to Lima for a set of performances for the city public schools: a fund-raising event “A Lake Wobegon Lutheran Church Supper,” and a concert/story event with Lima Senior High School Masterworks Ensemble and The Lima Area Youth Orchestra, all coordinated by Ben and Nancy Rose.
I am an actor and the Sound Effects Guy for the public radio show, “A Prairie Home Companion,” and travel to 50 or more cities a year. After being in Lima, my instincts were to grab a great big, red Spartan flag and run down West Market Street shouting “Do you folks realize what a great place this is?!”
I was overwhelmingly impressed with Lima and its let’s-do it people: Sally Windle, Erin Grimm, Debra Vobbe, Sandy Miller and Steve Popa as well as other faculty I met overseeing the high school arts programs. Also, Martha MacDonnell and her cultural gardening, the sheer talent of local Ed Zickafoose on piano, and — most importantly, underpinning it all, the clear and present Lima public and city support for the arts. The high school auditorium, alone, stands in testimony. It’s about the best venue I’ve ever boing’d, whistled and aah-ooo-gah’d in.
In this day and age, with schools across America teaching to the test and slashing, not just funding, but student time allowed for arts education, it was heartening, indeed, to see what is happening in Lima.
A 21-gun salute to you (SFX: 21 RIFLE SHOTS).
— Fred Newman, New York City