ShareThis Page

Norwin residents form arts council

| Sunday, May 12, 2013, 11:58 p.m.

A newly formed group is sketching out an inventory of local artists and arts-related groups with the intent of providing residents with quick information about the Norwin area's arts community.

“The Norwin Area Arts Council would kind of be almost an umbrella organization,” founder Kathleen Heuer said.

The Norwin Area Arts Council, a volunteer organization making its debut this year, is dedicated to supporting and promoting visual and performing arts. The group's purpose is threefold: to advocate for the arts, to bolster awareness of arts events and activities, and to encourage growth of arts opportunities.

Heuer said she started with the idea to begin a website compiling information about area artists and art agencies. She remembers when she moved to the community with young children and struggled to find information about local dance studios and piano lessons.

The group has started a website, Facebook page and Twitter account, each showcasing information such as a summer theater camp, school band concerts and articles about the benefits of the arts.

Ian Morrison, a Norwin music teacher, writes for the council's website about music and arts events in the school district. Morrison said he “immediately was on board” when he heard the idea for the group.

“I loved the idea that she had of kind of centralizing all the arts organizations in and around the Norwin community,” Morrison said.

The Norwin Art League, which hosts year-round classes and sells art supplies at its location along Main Street in Irwin, would fall under the council's umbrella.

Pat Vaughn, president of the Norwin Art League, called the new group “very positive.”

“I think it's just going to bring it all together,” she said. “The dance people have their own thing and the music people and the art people. I think it's a good thing to bring them all together. With different organizations together, we'd become stronger.”

The Norwin Area Arts Council will attend events including sponsoring a “chalk the block” activity for children at Irwin's summer Art and Jazz Nights.

“On the business side of things, we're going to start looking at creating a formal inventory of the artists and arts organization in the area,” Heuer said.

In addition, the group will file for nonprofit status, said Heuer, who also founded Relight the Lamp, a group seeking to reopen the long-vacant 1930s-era movie theater along Irwin's Main Street.

Ideas include advocacy and events.

“We could work with local school districts to make sure that arts classes aren't cut and that budgeting is handled for arts in the schools,” Heuer said. “Basically just educating people — everyone from the school board to parents — about the advantages of arts education.”

Heuer cited arts festivals and performances in the park as events the council could consider hosting.

“In my perfect world, it would be great if we could move to sponsor events,” she said. “We're kind of really open to wherever the community demand takes us. ... I know there's a lot of arts-related grants out there that we might be able to start seeking.”

Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.