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Front Page » December 14, 2004 » Scene » Revitalizing the arts in Emery County
Published 4,459 days ago

Revitalizing the arts in Emery County

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Chairperson Emery County Arts Council

Emery County Arts Council formed

Recognizing that the arts are a most important part of the development and education of our children as well as all ages, the Emery County Arts Council was organized under the direction of the Emery County Economic Development Council. Karen Truman was appointed as Chairperson of the Arts Council.The members of the council are few at this time. Along with Karen, Cole Clark serves as co-chair, Jennifer Fauver serves as secretary/treasurer. Other members are Kathleen Truman, Janet Tuttle, Janet Petersen, Kathy Justice and our student representative, Brandt Peacock.

Cultural arts have a powerful affect on our minds and spirits. They can touch our spirits as words alone sometimes cannot do, and their impact is long lasting. Music and cultural arts can be used to affect positive changes in people. We are being pulled in so many different directions today. Being involved in cultural arts can bring deeper meaning to our lives. Music, for example is really invisible. You can't see it, you can't taste it, but you can feel it. We all feel it differently and it has different meanings at different times of our lives. When you attend a play or musical production you can lose yourself in it. You see it, but you also feel it. Watching or listening to performing arts lifts our spirits and breathes new life into us. Being involved in any form of cultural arts brings optimism and strength to our souls and a refining influence into our lives. They fulfill a basic human need to enjoy and participate in the beauty around us and in our cultural heritage. There is music waiting to be written, talented fingers to reveal themselves, the joy of an imagination waiting to inspire us with plays, music and masterpieces of art.

The mission of the arts council is dedicated to fostering artistic and economic growth and education for citizens of all ages by encouraging the development and expression of performing and cultural arts, making Emery County a better place to live.

It is our hope, dream and plan to revitalize the arts in Emery County by fulfilling this mission statement.

Ernie Davis Opera House in Cleveland built in 1910.

Looking back at the arts in the history of the county

Cultural arts have a powerful affect on our minds and spirits. They can touch our spirits as words alone sometimes cannot do, and their impact is often long-lasting.

Did you know that Ernie Davis decided to build an Opera House in Cleveland? On April 7, 1910 the lumber was purchased and the first nail was driven. Jack Ward was the head carpenter and a beautiful frame building was erected. A large stage was built, and a smaller portable stage was built in the front. This stage could be dropped down to make more room for dancing. The first dance was held on July 24, 1910 before the hall was completely finished. There were little kerosene lamps hung all around the walls and also on the stage. Beautiful murals were painted across the walls.

Ernie Davis was quite a musician and loved music. He had a family band with each of his children playing an instrument. This family band played for most of the dances, as well as entertainment in the opera house.

Traveling troops provided special treats with their vaudeville acts. Many plays were seen, dances danced, and good times had in the opera house.

Silent movies became popular at the opera house. When electricity came to Cleveland, talking movies were shown.

If this building could talk it would have many stories to tell of dances, music productions, plays, movies and much, much more. It would tell of the dedication to and love of the arts by a man who made life so much more for so many and made sure those who wanted to enjoy the arts had a way to get there by providing a wagon to go out and bring them there.

Do you have special memories of cultural arts in Emery County from the past?

The cultural and performing arts have always been important in Emery County and the Emery County Arts Council is working to revitalize our arts. If you are interested in supporting this effort or if you have special memories or photos of the performing or cultural arts in Emery County from the past, the Emery County Arts Council would like to hear from you. Email responses to Karen,, or call at 384-2986.

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