DANSVILLE — Springtime was the main theme of this months open mic series at the art center.
Beth Ely Sleboda is a woman of many hats as she makes music, tells stories, crafts theme-based scarves and blankets, and many other talents. On March 23 Sleboda was the entertainer at the March Open Mic Performing Arts Series at Dansville ArtWorks.
The project is made possible by the funds from the New York State Council of the Arts.
Sleboda mentioned the many years she spent with her full-time Music Therapy practice, and how that influenced a lot of her creativity.
“I did a song called Samantha’s Dance when I worked with a woman who was developmentally disabled,” she said. “This is what came through as I sat with her one day. She may not be mobile, but I like to think of her as dancing.”
Sleboda stayed with the springtime theme as she talked of the famous spring flowers like crocus and lilacs.
In tune with the flowers she also sang love songs, and told a story of a couple of lovers who went to the Lilac Festival every year. The characters Irene and Samuel Johnson are young lovers who have a tragic end.
“I do a lot of research when I tell my love stories,” she said. ”I made a springtime blanket for the love story about the Lilac Festival. It is meant to be in the mind of Irene who lost her Samuel, and when she misses him she wears the blanket. Irene was a gardener so she has apple blossoms, daffodils, and tulips in her garden with the lilacs. When she was put in a county home they put this blanket over her, so she could dream of Samuel.”
Sleboda went on to talk about her personal love story with a Scotsman named Douglas Anderson.
“Douglas was my first love, and we would write love letters to one another,” she said. “I married a control freak who made me throw away those love letters. I wish I would’ve kept those letters, so I could read all the words now.
Douglas is married, has children, and is a successful banker.”
Sleboda wanted everyone to feel spring around them, and the happy memories that come with the season.
“I wanted everyone to feel like spring is around the corner,” she said. “I wanted to make everyone happy.”
Sleboda worked with developmentally disabled adults for many years and loved it very much.
“Music Therapy has gained a lot of respect in the last five years,” she said. “That is what I liked doing the best. Music was always one of my tools in making a difference.”
Sleboda said she loves the Dansville ArtWorks and what is offers people in the community.
“This is a great place to come too. It gives people a chance to come and make things together,” she said. “We can have this opportunity here in Livingston County thanks to Dansville ArtWorks.”
Dansville ArtWorks Board President Nicole Alioto said that the next thing is the big spring fundraiser that fuels the art center for the next year.
$2018 in 2018 is the new fundraiser that promises to be a lot of fun for the community. There are a limited amount of tickets available at $20 each. On April 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. anyone with a ticket will be allowed to enjoy some wine, beer, and food tasting with the hope of winning the $2,018, $201.80, $20.18, or a $20.18 gift certificate.
“This fundraiser benefits us and everyone who participates,” she said. “We hope to continue to keep the art center open, and switch up the fundraiser every year. We do these large scaled fundraisers every spring to get us to the next year.”
Alioto said this is a network with all of the art center’s partners as well. Battle Street Brewery is going to be one of the partners this time around.
There will be door prizes handed out every 15 minutes as well to people who show up with a ticket.
The next several Open Mic Performing Arts Series Guests are the following; Christy Nicholas, Excerpt from Misfortune of Song on April 27; Dan Folts, Shieldmaiden:The Devin Snyder Story on May 25; Sean Thomas Dougherty, An Evening with Author Sean Thomas Dougherty on June 8; and Kay Thomas, From Non-Fiction to Fiction: A Writer’s Journey on June 22. They all start at 6 p.m.