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ArtsLink Marks Decade, Election To Be Held

By Staff | Jan 5, 2011

The 10th anniversary of ArtsLink, the arts council of Wetzel and Tyler counties, will kick off with the annual meeting scheduled for 7 p.m., Jan 10, at the Francis Creative Arts Center. The public is invited. The milestone will be observed at various times during 2011, culminating with an anniversary celebration at “Arts in the Park” on July 4.

Two members of the current board have been with the organization since its formation. Bruce Ensinger and Patricia Block served on the steering committee that brought ArtsLink into existence and continue on the board.

Eight board members will be elected to the 18-member board, five by renewal and three new members.

Seeking to re-new their terms on the board will be Brian Feldmeier, Marianne Hughes, Tina Neil, Barbara Thomaselli, and Betty Tustin.

New members Bartolo Cannizzaro and Dan Henthorn are nominated for full terms and Charles Virden to complete the term of Harry Caldwell, which expires in December 2011.

Dan Henthorn is a 1980 graduate of Magnolia High School and holds a BFA in Acting/Directing from Marshall University. While at Marshall he interned with Lorimar Studios in Los Angeles working on the television show Falcon Crest. He is a former Artistic Director of Theatre West Virginia. He has worked as a professional actor, singer, and voice-over artist for the past 25 years. He has appeared in and voiced over 100 commercials and documentaries. He has adjudicated several West Virginia High School Drama Festival’s One Act Plays. Most recently he has formed a band called The Battle Weary Band in which he is the lead vocalist. He also proudly sings the National Anthem at any event the American Legion Post 67 asks him to sing.

Cannizzaro is a Production Manager for many different national and international theatrical companies. His most recent work was with the Tricycle Theatre of London managing “The Great Game Afghanistan” which was a series of 12 plays about the history of the British involvement in Afghanistan. Bartolo has also worked locally with the Wayward Players as the director of the children’s theatre production “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as well as designing the scenery and lighting for many of the Lincoln Theater Restoration Council musicals performed at the Lincoln Theater. He will next be directing and designing “Godspell”, a joint venture with the Wayward Players and the Restoration Council, and will then be directing and designing this summer’s children’s theatre production of “Alice in Wonderland”.

Charles Virden is a native of Paden City and graduated from Paden City High School. A Vietnam veteran, he is retired from a long career with the Bayer Corporation. He is married to the former Mary Kay Meeks and they have two children and two grandchildren. A master craftsman, Virden is nominated to fill the remainder of the term of Harry Caldwell, who served as facilities chairman during his terms on the board.

The 10 years of ArtsLink’s life has been full of successes, starting with the $100,000 renovation to the Francis Creative Arts Center, named for the late Jack Francis, who donated the building to West Virginia Northern Community College. An annual concert series, art exhibits, classes, and other arts activities have delighted audiences annually. Children’s theater productions are presented annually. A mini-grant program gives financial support to local artists and arts organizations. Major partners include West Virginia Northern Community College and the New Martinsville Parks and Recreation Department.

Much of the success of the organization can be attributed to its more than 300 members and generous donors, including the Bayer Corporation, Chesapeake Energy, and John J. Mensore, whose major donation was honored with the naming of the downstairs gallery the “John C. and Catherine Mensore Gallery.” Concert sponsorships are matched with grants from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

Following the annual meeting, the new board of directors will meet to elect officers and approve a budget for the year ahead. Additional information concerning ArtsLink is available online at www.artslinkwv.org.