Celebrating local arts


And Little Hearts Big Smiles to propose project

By Gary Huffenberger - [email protected]



From left, Main Street Wilmington Events Chairperson Trevor Shoemaker and Main Street Wilmington Executive Director Bekah Muchmore present plans for a June 2016 arts festival in downtown Wilmington.


From left, Wilmington City Parks & Recreation Director Lori Kersey Williams and Little Hearts Big Smiles representatives Barry Wulf and Michael Flanigan discuss a proposed handicap-accessible restrooms project for the state’s upcoming Capital Improvement Budget Bill.


WILMINGTON — Live performing arts will play a big part in a summer arts festival on Clinton County Courthouse square, planners said Monday.

The local creative arts to be presented live are expected to include vocalist solos, dancing, and theatrical previews or encores, said Main Street Wilmington Executive Director Bekah Muchmore.

Muchmore had a Monday appointment with Clinton County commissioners, and was seeking permission for courthouse square to be the site for the arts event, tentatively scheduled for the third weekend in June.

The hope is that the attractions will also include the culinary arts, adding further variety and taste to the event.

Though the celebration of the arts will span the weekend of June 17 through 19, the main event is Saturday, June 18 around the courthouse, Muchmore said.

A key goal, added Muchmore, is to “showcase” creativity that’s in the community.

The Saturday event is planned to go from noon to 11 p.m., with live entertainment peppering the Main Street side of the courthouse.

Food vendors will set up on the South Street side, with crafts sold at booths on-site.

Trevor Shoemaker, who is the events chairperson for Main Street Wilmington, told commissioners the event will be similar to the Rotary Club’s art shows held years ago.

Commissioners are expected to approve the use of the courthouse property for the arts celebration at their Wednesday session.

At a second Monday appointment in front of county commissioners were representatives of the city and county parks along with two men involved in the Little Hearts Big Smiles (LHBS) playground on Five Avenue designed for all children, including those with special needs.

Barry Wulf and Michael Flanigan with LHBS sought and received verbal support from the commissioners for the not-for-profit organization to submit a project proposal in the state’s upcoming Capital Improvement Budget Bill.

The organization plans to seek the state bond funding for handicap-accessible restrooms at the playground. Wulf said such facilities are the next step for the playground. The all-children playground has become a destination park for people around the region, he added.

Flanigan said handicap-accessible restroom facilities would help “finish off this asset” by providing a key component, currently lacking.

Wilmington City Parks & Recreation Director Lori Kersey Williams said of the playground proposal, “We want to make it as good a place as it can be.”

Noting the nonprofit has raised a lot of money to build the playground and pave a parking lot, Williams said she and others “feel like at some point capital improvements are the responsibility of the government” in providing services to a broad array of people.

She added the funds sought are through bonds that will be sold to support the selected capital improvement projects, and are not taxpayer dollars.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.

From left, Main Street Wilmington Events Chairperson Trevor Shoemaker and Main Street Wilmington Executive Director Bekah Muchmore present plans for a June 2016 arts festival in downtown Wilmington.
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/web1_muchmore_p_f.jpgFrom left, Main Street Wilmington Events Chairperson Trevor Shoemaker and Main Street Wilmington Executive Director Bekah Muchmore present plans for a June 2016 arts festival in downtown Wilmington.

From left, Wilmington City Parks & Recreation Director Lori Kersey Williams and Little Hearts Big Smiles representatives Barry Wulf and Michael Flanigan discuss a proposed handicap-accessible restrooms project for the state’s upcoming Capital Improvement Budget Bill.
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/web1_playground_p_f.jpgFrom left, Wilmington City Parks & Recreation Director Lori Kersey Williams and Little Hearts Big Smiles representatives Barry Wulf and Michael Flanigan discuss a proposed handicap-accessible restrooms project for the state’s upcoming Capital Improvement Budget Bill.
And Little Hearts Big Smiles to propose project

By Gary Huffenberger

[email protected]

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