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The Community

By Tara Bell


This is our 30th year for the Over the Mountain Studio Tour. Ninety-four participants later and we are still setting up our studios and inviting whoever wants to come along. And we do have plenty of people who want to come along…a community.


People who could easily buy something online, or in the early days, ‘went to the mall’, but instead come out of their homes to visit us and buy our crafts. They come to support us. Community is what makes it happen. It is the worth of the work, this thing we do together, manifested and created by all of us.

Last night Liz and Vince Goins and Richard and I attended a play at the Old Opera House in Charles Town. There was a full house, sold out.


There was also an auction filled with items donated by local retailers, crafts people and givers. They raised over $5,000 for this young group of thespians. Funds will continue to grow and give them the ability to attend a final judging of their performance at an international competition in Lincoln, Nebraska.



Think what those young people and their mentors will learn and experience there, and others will learn from them. The Washington High school group had already won their state finals in West Virginia!


It was electric last night, all in support of each other, strangers to me, but the kids were beaming, representing our community. I didn’t know a single one, but I wanted to support them.

I will participate this year on the tour with this in mind: without community we don’t exist well, we stagnate. If we don’t recognize its importance there is something we will miss that won’t ever come to be. We would disconnect. The arts are something we can come together around in a brilliant way.

What are your thoughts on how community contributes to the arts?

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