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Monroe Arts Council Forming!
Wednesday, August 28, 2002 12:00:00 AM - Monroe Ohio
Monroe residents have long enjoyed a strong sense of community, and now the groundwork has been laid for this fast-growing city to enjoy more of its own cultural foundation. A group interested in creating the Monroe Arts Council met for the first time in the Community Room at the Monroe City Building on Saturday, August 17, 2002. Civic leader Don Pelfrey who is currently president of the Mid-Miami Health Care Foundation for the Middletown Regional Hospital, and has served on the boards of the Middletown Fine Arts and Middletown Symphony spearheaded formation of this council. Alan Cooper, retired from Armco and Wright State University, served as facilitator of this meeting and led the group in the development of implementation plans for the new council.

One of the first things that the newly-formed council did was to adopt a mission statement which reads as follows: We are committed to serving all of the people of the Greater Monroe Area in the participation, understanding and enjoyment of fine arts. The Council envisions providing opportunities for a community theater group, a community choral group and local youth symphony for residents of Monroe and the surrounding areas. There is also great interest in providing an art gallery for local and nationally known artists, dance classes, art, pottery, photography, and painting classes for all ages. Monroe already has residents involved in Cincinnatiís May Festival Chorus, Cincinnatiís May Festival Youth Chorus, the Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, etc. Council members feel that it is time to bring the spirit of volunteerism home to Monroe.

Amber Tendam, currently beginning her third year as Monroe Junior/Senior Highís vocal music teacher, was elected the first president of the Monroe Arts Council. Mrs. Tendam has been a music teacher in the Tri-State area for over 27 years. She has been teaching music in the public school system for 14 years and is in her fourth season as Chairperson and facilitator for OMEA District XIIIís Honor Chorus, serving southwestern Ohio. She holds a masterís degree in Curriculum & Supervision from Miami University and she is a Monroe alumnus. Also elected during Saturdayís meeting were Barb Leib-vice president, Michael Minor-secretary, Martina Slone-treasurer, and Sue Knicely-historian. Other council members include Susan Beagle, Pat Bell, Alan Cooper, Earl Jones, Don Pelfrey, and Virginia Peters.

The next planning meeting will be held Saturday, October 19, 2002 at 9:00 AM in the City Building. At that time the group will discuss its next steps, which will probably include creating a survey for the communityís input on what they would desire in an arts council. For information on how to become a part of the Monroe Arts Council and/or to give your input, please e-mail Amber Tendam or write to:

Monroe Arts Council
PO Box 172
Monroe, OH 45050.
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