WILKES-BARRE — Teresa Jemio made her way into the Wyoming Valley Art League on Sunday for a dramatic reading of “A Christmas Carol” as part of her celebration of the holiday season.
Jemio, of Wilkes-Barre, said having recently retired, she is able to take advantage of cultural events throughout the area, and the reading seemed to lend itself not only to cultural enrichment, but also to helping the community, with proceeds going from the event benefitting Ruth’s Place women’s homeless shelter and the McGlynn Learning Center.
Guests were encouraged to get a bite to eat and enjoy a beverage during the presentation, creating a relaxed atmosphere for the approximately 50 attendees.
Patricia McMahon Lacy, vice president of the Art League, said the nonprofit organization consistently seeks to benefit those in the community, offering free art lessons for young people at the McGlynn center each summer as part of the group’s community outreach program.
“With the Sordoni Art Gallery slated to move nearby and Marquis Art and Frame also on South Main Street, we are hoping that this area will come to be known as the city’s art district,” McMahon Lacy said.
The art league’s building, previously owned by the Luzerne County Medical Society, seems to lend itself to cultural undertaking and social gathering, with a circular room reflecting the structure’s name: “Circle Centre for the Arts” and allowing guests to view numerous pieces of artwork in a single glance.
McMahon Lacy emphasized that the term “art” goes far beyond drawing and painting.
“Our goal to to also include musical art,” she said, “and dramatic art as we are doing here tonight.”
McMahon Lacy, chosen as a reader, was dressed in period costume as she took the podium.
As she read, she interjected a great deal of inflection, which brought laughs from the audience as they imagined a miserly Scrooge politely declining to help the poor.
Also gracing the walls of the Art League and delighting attendees, were pieces of artwork completed by the women at Ruth’s Place, which ranged from a bright red heart in a colorful setting, to a somber landscape.
Art league President Tony Brooks said he appreciated the cooperation of participants and was delighted at the robust turnout for the event.
Don Armstrong, art league treasurer, said members looked forward to continuing outreach to “all demographics” within the community, making art and culture available to all.
“The arts are alive and well in downtown Wilkes-Barre,” said Brooks.