Sullivan County Council on the Arts - Supporting the arts, culture and heritage of Sullivan County, Pennsylvania
SCCA Presents: 2014
The same old things. And we're proud of them.

The Sullivan County Council on the Arts for 2014 will offer a repeat of our full range of programs. But the last few years have been any indication, we expect even more participation by the public and a still firmer response from and interaction with the county's youth.

But there will be changes in 2015, since 2014 will feature the final entry in our Roving Historical Theater's series of eight community-centered plays. This only opens new vistas, and plans for a music festival the following year are under way.

Our programs start off in February with the annual Clothesline Art Exhibit at the Kiwanis Winterfest, Presidents' weekend, at Camp Brule. Here, kids receive prizes for new art work which is displayed during the festivities.

March brings our spring entertainment at the DarWay and Highlands care centers.

April will be highlighted by the  22nd annual Youth Art Awards, honoring visual arts students from the Sullivan County School District and home schoolers. In 2013, students entered over 200 art works and we distributed over $300 in prizes. The exhibit and awards ceremony are held in the Sullivan County Library, Dushore.

April will also feature the 4th annual Literary Awards, shared by four winners from throughout the upper grades (home or public school). We print their work in our annual magazine, Hills and Valleys (along with photos of the winners of the Youth Art Awards).

In May, we will present the 17th annual Choice of Show award. SCCA judges pick a single work by a Sullivan County High School student, which is purchased from the artist, framed and placed on permanent display in the school hallway.

Also in May, the 4th annual Theater Award will go to a senior high-school-level student (home or public school) who has done the most for theater over his or her high school career.

The Covered Bridge Gallery in Forksville will open over Memorial Day weekend. The Gallery started up last year to a remarkably enthusiastic reception. For our second year, we plan to expand our range of artists and events. We extend our continuing thanks to  Mike Pennella, who has offered the space rent-free.

In 2007, the SCCA inaugurated the Roving Historical Theater. Each original production is held in a different county community, each highlighting the heritage of that community. Next June, as mentioned, we present the final entry in the initial series, "The Home Front," covering the history of Sonestown, Nordmont and Muncy Valley. It will also concentrate on the effects of the country's wars on the county over the past 250 years.

October 11-12, the annual juried Art Expo will be held during the Fall Festival at the Forksville Fairgrounds. Over the last two years, the Arts Council has renovated the Blue Building, increased the size of prizes and widened our search for artists.

On November 7 we will present the 3rd annual concert by the Celtic Martins. The almost scarily talented Martin family of musicians and step dancers has also agreed to be the headline act for a proposed two-day festival to celebrate the ancestral music of the county in 2015. 

Finally, on December 13, we'll hold the annual Artisans Holiday Sale (weather permitting) at St. Basil's Hall in Dushore. Sadly, the massive snowstorm that swamped the county this year forced its cancellation.

The Arts Council welcomes people of all ages to become members of the SCCA. We also encourage businesses to become members, to help support both the arts and the tourist economy of the county. Your membership offers a gift that gives back, continually, through the talents displayed by our kids and adult artists.

Literary Award Winners

These awards honor a high school-level student's "body of work" - the total effect of all pieces entered, whether they be a single entry or a collection that can include a combination of prose and poetry.

Of this year's four winners, three submitted both prose and poetry, and three chose a foreign setting for their short story.

First place went to Megan Kiner, who is home schooled and who was also the top winner of the award the year it was first given. Her entries included "Perspective," a poem about the shift in outlook on winter that can come with age; "Seasons," a short study of fire, ash, life and death; and "Changeling," a mesmerizing story of sorrow, trauma and redemption at an English boarding school for girls during World War II.

Second Prize winner Kelly Kramer, a Sullivan County High School student, entered a short story with the intriguing title, "To be or not to be a fish," a tale of a Greek teenager caught between the pulls of tradition and college education in America; and "World History: a Timepiece," a clever poetic look at knowledge through the ages.

Third Prize went to home schooled Amy Brian McGee, last year's top winner, for "The Promise of Better Days Soak Through My Socks on Starry Nights," a stirring tale of a father's dealing with family tragedy; and a poem on sadness at the edge of sleep, "I woke amidst a mist of dreariness."

Libby Schreffler, from Sullivan County High School, took Fourth Prize with "The Window in Nonna's Attic," a charming story of a grandmother's diary detailing her trip to Venice where she met the great love of her life.

The prize winners, along with the cream of the other entries who made it through the first round of judging, will appear in the fourth annual copy of "Hills and Valleys," the annual Arts Council magazine, which will also feature the high school-level winners of the Youth Arts Awards.

Welcome to the Sullivan County Council on the Arts

Looking Forward to New
Local Arts in 2014

The Sullivan County Council on the Arts (SCCA) is an umbrella organization working to foster and preserve the artistic and cultural lives of the residents of Sullivan County, a rural community of small towns, hemlock forests and serenity in the heart of the Endless Mountains.

Check out our activities page to see what we're up to. And our members page to help support the arts in Sullivan County.

For a pdf copy of our 2014 brochure, click here.

Our Archives page holds links to all our theater scripts and prize winners.

2014 Art Expo application available here.

Look for the "Covered Bridge Gallery" on Facebook!

Looking Ahead

"Home Front" DVDs On Sale

The DVD of the final full-length Roving Historical Theater production, "The Home Front," is ready for viewing and purchase. As usual, the work was videoed and edited by local videographer Allen Williams.

Though the Roving Theater will remain as the theatrical arm of the Sullivan County Council on the Arts, its initial cycle of eight plays drew to a close this summer with a tribute to the history of, and wartime activities in the communities of Sonestown, Nordmont and Muncy Valley. It centered on the life of Little family of Nordmont during World War II, during the years when the husband, Michael, was off to war in the Pacific.

It also peered into the past with a look at home front doings during the War of 1812, the Civil War and World War I, as well as traipsing through the Nordmont acid factory, the Sonestown clothespin factory and the tanning industry of Muncy Valley, with a side excursion on the Eagles Mere Railroad.

Of course, no Roving Theater play would be complete without a drunk scene or a murder, this time rolled into one hilarious chronicle of the 1879 rampage of besotted William Spearman on North Mountain.

"The Home Front" DVD is available at the Covered Bridge Gallery in Forksville, which is open Saturdays 11-6:30 and Sundays 11-3, or can be ordered by sending a check or money order to SCCA, PO Box 243, Dushore, PA 18614. The cost is $20, plus $2 shipping and handling if you would like it mailed to you.

Artisans Holiday Sale

In other Arts Council News, the annual Artisans Holiday Sale, set for December 13, will be moving to a new location: the Galleria, recently opened by Karen Black in the former JMB plumbing supply store on Rt. 220, north of Dushore.

Following cancellation of last year's Sale because of heavy snow, the Arts Council began to consider finding a location that would provide ample parking, preferably on a major highway, where it could easily be found by those looking for hand-crafted holiday gifts.

The Galleria fits these needs perfectly. With plenty of parking area and interior display space, plus its location directly on 220, it could hardly be better. It even has wall space on which painters and other artists can display their work for sale. Notices will be sent out to potential vendors in coming weeks.

The Council extends its hearty thanks to Karen for her invitation and for her desire to bring the local arts community closer together through her classes and encouragement of group art activities.

Applications Accepted for Sullivan County Art Expo

The Sullivan County, PA, Council on the Arts (SCCA) is now accepting applications for inclusion in its annual Fall Art Expo, which takes place October 11-12 at the Forksville Fairgrounds, during the Sullivan County Fall Festival.

The Art Expo is a juried competition among visual artists for cash prizes totaling $1200. Though the exact categories to be judged will not be chosen until all entries have been accepted, the artistic media are wide open - from original oil and acrylic paintings to pastel, pencil and pen and ink drawing, through jewelry and three dimensional arts, such as sculpture, to photography.

Along with the awards chosen by a panel of three judges, there will also be the coveted People's Choice Award, determined by the votes of those attending the exhibit, which is held in the Blue Building at the Fairgrounds.

The Blue Building itself was fully renovated and redecorated two years ago to provide a gallery setting, including new paint, curtains and hand-crafted exhibit panels.

Artists wishing to enter their works must pay a jurying fee of $20 to submit photos of up to three works for approval. The photos may be sent by email to or by standard mail to Helen Day, PO Box 139, Eagles Mere, PA 17731, with a deadline of September 30. Applications are available here.

Special effort is being extended to broaden the geographic range of participating artists, with direct contact to artists across the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania and the Southern Tier of New York.

Covered Bridge Gallery

Our Gallery, in sunny downtown Forksville, has several new artists this year as part of its ever-changing collection of local paintings, prints, pottery, jewelry, photography, sculpture, note cards, history and cook books. The Gallery is open Saturdays, 11 am to 6:60 pm, and Sundays, 11 am to 3 pm. We're just down the street from Big Mike's Forksville General Store, where you can get the best Philly hoagies this side of legendary South Philly.

The Celtic Martins Are Coming!

Returning for their third year, the superb family band, the Celtic Martins, will enliven St. Basil's Hall, Dushore, on November 7th, presented by the Sullivan County Council on the Arts. Why should you know about it this early in the season? Because you'll want to keep that date clear.

The Martins aren't just any group of musicians, but an almost frighteningly talented outfit that takes Celtic music, a staple of enlivened listening, to a new aural and visual level.

The band sports four fiddlers (and perhaps more, as the younger family members move into the main group), guitars, various other string instruments and some of the most inventive drumming ever brought to the Celtic realm. That's the aural aspect.

The visual doesn't stop with the infectious enthusiasm and delightful personae that Nelson, Elaine and their charming brood bring to an evening. You're also entertained with beautifully executed Irish step dancing - including step dancing while playing the fiddle (try it some time).

The Martins, from Pennsylvania Dutch country, started out doing German and German-influenced tunes in their local area (and still add a few to the mix today). But once they "transformed" into a Celtic outfit, they began to pick up what has become something of a cult following, with fans willing to travel the whole Pennsylvania circuit to see them perform.

So we suggest that you mark you calendar now, because even the spacious St. Basil's auditorium may have difficulty holding all the Martins' admirers. (Yes, the Arts Council has already booked them for 2015, but why wait?)

The Celtic Martins will perform at St. Basil's Hall, Dushore, Friday, November 7 and 7 pm. Tickets will be $10 (SCCA members, $9) for adults, $1 for students through high school, with pre-school free. And remember: This is not only a performance by family band, it's a family show, where four-year-olds dance in the aisles.

A (relatively) simple way to send tiny donations to the Arts Council
If you'd like to support the SCCA without having to think too much, has set up a system to donate 1/2 of one percent of your purchase price to us if you enter amazon through the Amazon Smile secret doorway. What you do is go to the URL below, tell them you want to support the Sullivan County Council on the Arts, and each time you buy some trinket through amazon using that entrance, we get a pittance. Isn't that exciting? Yes. Anyway, here's the link. Check it out if you're hungry to support the (local) arts.:
Roving into Absurdity
Shivering with horror at the reported death of the Roving Historical Theater? Ha! Read about its ridiculous rebirth here.

"Hills and Valleys" #4
Take a look at the excellent writing and visual arts talents of Sullivan County's high school-level students in this years addition of "Hills and Valleys" magazine. What these student artists have come up with is little short of amazing.
--Derek Davis







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Sullivan County Council on the Arts · PO Box 243 · Dushore, PA 18614
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