“Front And Center” At ARTS/West

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Front and Center is a program designed by  local piano teacher, Patricia Lachman who for ten years sponsored a Music Club for children that met on the west side of Athens approximately once a month during the school year. The students of her piano studio form the core of the attendees. Since she designed the event to enrich and stimulate any child’s involvement in music she invited west side neighborhood kids she knew of, as well as kids from Central Ave. Methodist Church where they had thus far met, and from Timothy House (our local homeless shelter) on Central Ave. Front and Center is one hour in length from 12-1 on the 2nd Saturday of every month. The first half of the program invites local musicians from the area or from the university to perform. We have had Gay and Bruce Dalzell, John Horne, Bob Castro, the Local Girls, Hilary and Mark Burhans, Gini Gorsinski, Karen Bump, Nikkos Pappos, Eugene Jennings, Michael Lachman, Rusty Smith, Sean O’Malley, Ivy Crockron, the Lark Quartet, Andre Gribou, Liz and Lyn Shaw, Patrick McGee, and OU music majors and international students to name a few performers who have donated their time over the years to the Front and Center. During the second half of the event we have an open stage for any of the children to volunteer to perform some form of music for their peers.  When the ARTS/West facility became available—Front and Center was one of the first programs to move in.

It's one of our very favorite events.  Our favorite part (speaking for most of the staff here as "our") is the open stage portion when the kids come up to play a piece they've been working on or an original composition. Front and Center is just one of those things that remind us why we do this. 

Important to not that F&C is supported by The Ohio Arts Council through ARTS/West's sustainability grant and a portion of our gift from the Athens Community Music Festival