New arts and culture commission off to running start in Warren

By Ted Hayes
Posted 2/14/20

The Warren Town Council appointed eight members to the newly-formed Warren Arts and Culture Commission last Tuesday, going over their original limit of seven members due to what councilors said was …

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New arts and culture commission off to running start in Warren

Posted

The Warren Town Council appointed eight members to the newly-formed Warren Arts and Culture Commission last Tuesday, going over their original limit of seven members due to what councilors said was an overwhelming depth of talent and experience from those who’d applied.

The advisory commission was first envisioned in late 2019 as a way to create closer bonds between the town’s many artists and town hall, and to hopefully better promote and publicize the good works being done in the arts and cultural community here. Councilors originally envisioned it as a seven-member board, with no fewer than five Warren residents and up to two Bristol residents. But after hearing from eight hopefuls Tuesday, councilors appointed all of them and voted to add a ninth member to the commission. That position will be advertised and is open to anyone who wants to apply; meanwhile, a meeting schedule for the new commission is being formalized.

Applicants approved to the new board include:

Uriah Donnelly

Mr. Donnelly, of the Warren Collaborative, said he is excited for the commission. “I see (it) as being a valuable resource … and also sort of like the go between between the community and the town council.”

Mark Wholey

A long-time artist who has never been involved in public service in Warren, Mr. Wholey said he applied out of excitement at the possibilities presented by the commission: “A town like this … ought to have more exposure of the artists. Art-friendly places are very friendly places to live in.”

Darby Pontes

A musician and member of Art Night since 2012, Ms. Pontes said her organizing skills and contacts will help the commission, as Art Night has been a huge asset to the towns’ culture. And “it’s getting better every year.”

Peri Delorenzo

A violin teacher in school and privately, Ms. Delorenzo said she is looking for more ways to be involved in town and her work as a teacher in the Community Strings Project in Bristol puts her in regular contact with the towns’ youth. “I think I’d be a good (conduit) between the schools, the kids and the town.”

Linda Megathlin

Living in town for 33 years, the Child Street resident has long been involved in the arts and held a successful career in corporate communications. “I learned a lot about managing projects … I think I’ll be very helpful.”

Erin DeThomas

Ms. DeThomas lives in Bristol but owns Makers on Child Street, which holds art classes for youngsters. She has become immersed in the town’s arts scene and “I’m really excited about the opportunity to get involved a little bit more.”

Wendy Linda Duarte

As chair of the Voluntary Historic District Committee, Ms. Duarte said she is passionate about the town’s culture, the sustainability of art here and organizing. Though not an artist herself, “what makes me the most happy isn’t necessarily being an artist myself, but supporting the arts community.” Also, as a proud Portuguese American, she can be a bridge to that community here. She joked that her last name, Duarte,” pronounced “Do Art,” says it all. “I literally do art.”

James C. Goff

A retired dentist from Barrington who now lives in the Tourister mill, Mr. Goff said he has worked and lived around the periphery of Warren for years but never was involved here. He is a big fan of the town’s arts scene, and looks at the commission as “sort of a link between the artists in town, which is great, and the outside community, and (can help) get people to come into town.”

 

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