Using Our Hands to Reach Outside

Let’s talk about hands. The ones you eat with. The ones you clap with. The ones you work with.What you do with your hands is what you do with your life. What you do with your hands has a lasting impact on yourself and those around you. The recent work of many hands in this community has made a huge difference.

Hands Across Westerville, September 28, 2018Last Friday, a couple hundred pairs of them joined together in the center of State Street to symbolize unity and kick off a weekend of Community Culture activities. While that was going on a dozen  pairs of hands were helping WVCB staff execute the Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Friday after the sudden loss of our Executive Director a month before. There was also a small army of City of Westerville employees, police, fire, service and electric, whose hands made sure streets were blocked, safe, lit and clean for the thousands of people who came to enjoy a night in this beautiful community.

In the weeks leading up to that night there were hands that sent Remembering the late Jeff Hartnellflowers, sent cards and dialed calls with words of encouragement to a small staff shaken and broken-hearted by the death of our leader and our friend. Hands that hugged and were ready with tissues when  the days was just too hard.

Now that it is time to move, “Onward and Upward”, (one of Jeff’s favorite sayings) the WVCB is counting on all of those hands to reach out, not only within this community, but outside of it. You love this community, right? Why? Why is #WestervilleAwesome ?

Jeff Hartnell worked for 11 years to reintroduce Westerville to itself. His vision was to expand our message outside of Ohio and bring people here from Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and beyond. You know people! You can help!

We’ve got two beautiful new hotels now. The Aloft and The Renaissance. If you are planning a wedding, use them. If your employer is holding a conference or meeting, talk to them first. If you know out-of-towners looking for a place to stay for an OSU game or other event being held in Columbus, point them to Westerville. The WVCB will do our best using our resources to do our job, but you are our best spokespeople! Tell your friends and family why YOU like Westerville and why they should come here for work and for fun.

If you need our help, we are here. We will supply you with Community Guides, maps and other information and can put you in contact with all the right people. There are so many fun things to do right in Westerville and not too far away. Just call or email. We will be glad to lend a hand.

You Artsy, She Jane

Would you describe yourself as “artsy?” Why or why not? What makes one “artsy” or a “lover of art?” Some people say, “I’m not an artist, but I can appreciate the talent that went into it.” Others say, “I don’t get it at all!?!?”

Westerville, Ohio has a rich arts community that not only includes Otterbein University’s talented students and faculty and the Westerville Symphony, but also the Westerville Community Bands, theatre and choir, the Arts Council of Westerville, the Westerville Art League made up of hundreds of local artists.

What is art? Paintings? Dance? The spoken word? Quilts?

Who is an artist? A child? An actor? A sculpture? A tuba player?

Each year, the Westerville Visitors & Convention Bureau recognizes one local art initiative in memory of Jane Denick. To Jane, art was a passion. Recognizing creativity of every kind was a cause she championed. At our annual meeting in February, the WVCB awarded the Jane Denick Advancement of the Arts Award to Curtain Players.

Since 1963, Curtain Players has been part of the Westerville Community and has brought more than 200 shows to the area, promoting the educational, cultural, and entertainment value of live theatre.

If you have never experienced Curtain Players, you will have your chance beginning March 24 with Rabbit Hole, a Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by David Lindsay-Abaire. Curtain Players perform their shows in a quaint 78-seat theater is on the east side of the Hoover Reservoir.

Be sure to check out their website and take in one of their performances soon. While you’re at it, visit a gallery, go to a concert. Who knows, you might decide to be “artsy.”

 

 

 

Westerville/Civil War-Era Music Forever Linked

As soon as the trick-or-treaters go home on October 31st (and maybe Home of Bishop William Hanby, Abolitionist, Underground Railroad "Conductor" and his son, Benjamin Hanby, who wrote the Christmas favorite, "Up On The Housetip."even before), you’ll begin to hear Christmas songs on the radio and in the malls. Each song as its own unique story. If you’ve been to Westerville and especially if you live here, you most likely know who wrote the song “Up On the Housetop.” His name was Benjamin Hanby. But did you know that Ben penned more than just this Christmas favorite?

Here’s an excerpt from www.hanbyhouse.org:
Bishop and Ann’s oldest child, Benjamin Russel Hanby, was in the second graduating class of Otterbein University in 1858. He was a United Brethren preacher, a teacher, an abolitionist and a composer. During his short life, he composed over 80 songs including Darling Nelly Gray, Up on the Housetop, and Who is He in Yonder Stall? The latter is included in the current United Methodist Hymnal.

You may not be familiar with Ben’s catalog, but people of his day would have certainly recognized many of his melodies.

On Saturday, October 22nd, you can enjoy an afternoon full of Civil War music to benefit Ben’s Westerville residence, The Hanby House Historic Site. The songs, written about or by women during the Civil War period, will be presented by Columbus musicians Steve and Lisa Ball. Not only will the lyrics and the harmonies take you back 150 years, the guitar Steve plays is a Civil-War era Martin!

All proceeds from this concert will help support the programming and educational efforts of Hanby House. For more information about Hanby House and how to order advance tickets for the concert, visit the Hanby House website.

Too Important to Forget

Your grandparents or great-grandparents, at one time or another, probably tied a string around his or her finger to remind them of something they didn’t want to forget. The website SuperBeefy.com says,

“This is a carry-over from olden days when people tied pieces of cloth around any painful part of their body. This cloth was tied in one area to keep the “spirit of life” in that area, and so cure it and keep the pain from spreading to other parts of the body. The string on the finger was designed to “keep” the thought there, to be remembered later when it was needed.”

The WVCB staff has worked hard to remind folks that September has five Fridays. Our Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Friday: Fall Fest is happening, well, on the fourth Friday. Not the last Friday. We just want to make sure you don’t miss the last one of the season.

This time of year, there are plenty of folks in New York City and across the country that want to make sure you remember something far more important: The unimaginable tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001.

First Responders Park - HandAs more time passes, new generations of children will learn about that horrible day in history class, with no direct emotional connection to the day’s events and their aftermath. Whether you witnessed the devastation first-hand or you watched with the rest of the world as planes struck the World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field, you cannot let them forget.

Just like “the string on the finger was designed to ‘keep’ the thought there, to be remembered later when it was needed,” the City of Westerville’s 9/11 Observance is designed to keep your memories of that day alive and honor the innocent lives that were lost. And if you were too young or weren’t even born when the attacks took place, reading the thousands of eye-witness accounts or watching the countless documentaries that tell the stories of bravery and courage shown by the victims and those nearby, as well asFirst Responders Park the hatred demonstrated by the attackers, will provide enough background so that September 11th will always be a day of remembrance for you also.

Even if you still feel too far-removed from the events of 9/11, please consider the first responders in your own community and know that their commitment to you and your family is the same as the commitment shown by the police, fire and dispatch personnel who answered the call 15 years ago.

For more information on Westerville 9/11 Observance, Click Here.

There’s More to September Than Pumpkin Spice

‘Tis the season for Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING! September 1st must be the unofficial date where strawberry- and peach-flavored treats are replaced by everyone’s favorite orange gourd. But don’t be too quick to leave summer behind just yet.

Of course Westerville’s calendar is filled with fun fall activities like the Ned Mosher Apple Butter Festival, Midnight Madness and Mount Carmel St. Ann’s 4th Friday: Fall Fest. But we’re still wringing out all the summertime we can get with The Great Westerville Food Truck Fest and Cops and Kids Day.  To ease the transition between the season of humid to the season of crisp, you can take in the Uptown Westerville Farmers’ Market, enjoy garden walks at Inniswood and then bundle up for a high school football game. Then, and only then, can you embrace autumn, buy your pumpkins from the Boy Scouts and put pumpkin spice creamer in your morning joe.

See What We’ve Been Missing!

It is said a person doesn’t miss something until it’s gone. The WVCB staff knows this all too well, since we haven’t been in our Uptown office for nearly a month. We are hard at work at our temporary office location, which couldn’t be nicer, but we are missing one thing: Visitors!

We know we are off the beaten path and not set up for company, but we sure miss the daily interaction with residents, visitors and our fellow Uptown folks. We miss chatting with our neighbors in the parking lot and getting pop-in visitors the likes of Bill Morgan with Morgan’s Treasure Fine Jewelry, artist David Myers from across the street, Debbie Bennati from A Gal Named Cinda Lou and many friends from City Hall. We even miss the fire truck sirens as they scream up West Main. We miss being steps from two great coffee shops. We miss the proximity to a variety of restaurants and a pharmacy. We miss the quick walk to the bank to make a deposit and all the smiling faces we encounter on a daily basis.

The point of sharing with you what we miss about Uptown, is to let you know what Uptown is and how it feels to be there. We know that, once repairs to our office building are finished, we will be back to enjoy Uptown once again, but what about you? Have you been Uptown lately? Have you had dinner in one of our great eateries or bought a gift for a friend in one of Uptown’s unique shops? Our candy, cookie, popcorn, ice cream and frozen custard parlors make a great outing for you and the kids. Buckeye BrewCraft and the Governor’s Smoke Shop will keep the guys busy while the ladies enjoy Deja Vu and My Cousin’s Closet. The possibilities are endless. Go ahead. Visit Uptown Westerville today and see what WE’VE been missing!