Arts and Community


 Bob Milne won’t be visiting us until October 3, at St. Basil’s Hall, but it’s never too early to psych yourself for the world’s greatest ragtime piano player, an engaging, entertaining, awe-inspiring, etc. talent without equal. He’s good too. If you need to be convinced, search out his Library of Concert performances and interviews on YouTube. But tether yourself to the couch lest you be blown away.

Arts Council Starts a Busy Year

The Sullivan County Council on the Arts held its first meeting of the year on 02/20/2020, an auspicious (or perhaps suspicious) date. Two new board members were announced by president Barb Murray: Mary Fiester and artist Michelle Morris.

One highlight was the interest expressed earlier by graduating high school senior Samantha Skoranski on joining the board in March, even though she would be able to serve for only a few months before attending college in the fall. Sam, who has been a regular contributor to – and prize winner with – the Arts Council’s Literary Contest, will bring a welcome voice of youth to programs too often determined by those “older and wiser,” with the emphasis on “older.”

The annual Clothesline Art Exhibit at the Kiwanis WinterFest was a success, with entrants given $3 vouchers to buy goodies. No artist was requested to take the Polar Bear Plunge.

In regular business, the board settled on the dates for the annual Youth Arts Awards. Art will be dropped off at the library on April 14th or 15th, with cataloging on the 16th and judging and hanging on the 17th. The awards ceremony will be held at the library on Saturday, April 25th at 10:30 am. The time was moved forward this year to encourage more attendance by Sullivan County High School students. The art will remain on view until May 2nd. The exhibit and awards are open to all students living or studying in Sullivan County – public, private, home schooled and the Red Rock Job Corps Center.

Long-time county artist Dan Curry was awarded $200 to buy supplies for his art residency at the library, including pastels, drawing paper and tabletop easels. Some of these materials may also be used in classes he is holding at Head Start and Sullivan Terrace.

The Arts Council has received a $3,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a $350 donation from the County Commissioners, and close to $700 in investment dividends from its endowment fund with the Community Foundation for the Twin Tiers.

Reminder postcards will be mailed out this week to members and former members who have yet to renew for 2020.

The board is open to adding one or two new members. If you love art and want to actively support and encourage it, let us know. We are also looking for someone to maintain the Arts Council Facebook page. You can email dereksbdavis at

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High school Literary Contest still in full swing

Our annual literary contest for county high school students is off and running. Though the deadline is set for March 15, entries are encouraged at any time.

The contest is open to public, private and home-schooled students living or studying in the county, grades 7-12, as well as Red Rock Job Corps attendees. Poetry, fiction and non-fiction are all eligible, with no limitation on theme or content beyond the usual “verboten” obscenity and profanity. The Arts Council is especially interest in unusual, exciting, personal work, not just “what’s expected.”

There will be cash prizes for first through fourth places, with publication in Hills and Valleys magazine of all winners and all runners-up that the Arts Council judges deem worthy of inclusion. Past first-place winners have come from the home-schooled community, as well as Sullivan County High School, so if you know young writers being home-schooled, please pass along our invitation.

All entries should be sent to our contest coordinator, Linda White, at lin6clay at You get get a copy of our siimple-minded rules here. All questions about the contest should be directed to your English teacher or to Linda at the same email address.

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For a list of all our major programs, look here.

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Local arts and other links:

Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum

Sullivan County Library

Sullivan County general page

Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce

Heading photo by Donna Sherwood