Jaisyn Petersen glues a pink paper puff his cherry blossom tree at the 11th annual Wabash FAME Festival on Saturday, April 22. Photo by Emma Rausch
By Emma Rausch
China returned to Wabash on Saturday, April 22, for the 11th annual Wabash FAME (Foundation of Art and Music in Education) Festival.
Thirty years ago, the FAME Festival was founded in Fort Wayne on the idea of giving students “a chance to perform their music, to display their artwork in a noncompetitive atmosphere away from school,” according to Judy Ward, local festival planning committee head.
In 2006, Ward assisted with bringing the festival to Wabash County.
This year, the local festival focused on China. The event first spotlighted the Chinese culture in 2015 and introduced local youth to its customs, writing and arts. At Saturday’s event, youth continued their exploration of the country’s heritage and had the opportunity to try more of its traditional artworks firsthand.
Coach Chris Rood amassed a record of 411-211-1 as head coach of the Wabash Apaches baseball team. Photo provided
By Kyle Kelshimer
Special to The Paper
From Bob Knight and IU Basketball, to Notre Dame Football and 11 national championships, to the “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” the Indy 500, Indiana sports scream tradition. But not any kind of tradition; it is a tradition that reflects the men and women of the state who call themselves Hoosiers.
It is an Indiana tradition.
Gritty, blue-collared, players often fused with unrelenting, outspoken, disciplined coaches who would mold their team, often unmatched and less talented, into believing that through concentration and execution they, as a team, could do anything.
Think Bob Knight.
Think Knute Rockne.
Think Thomas “Chris” Rood.
Chris Rood, to many in the state, has become more than just an old baseball coach. He has become a legend to those who knew him and knew of him.
Tahnee Fuentes and Ben Green
By The Paper staff
NORTH MANCHESTER — Two members of the Manchester High School swim team, Tahnee Fuentes and Ben Green, have been selected for the All America Team through the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association of America, Inc. (NISCA).
To be selected for this honor, athletes must meet the criteria for selection according to the NISCA guidelines. The requirements include, having a minimum GPA of 3.75 on a 4.00 scale, being a graduating senior, and lettering in your high school program during your senior year.
A Liking for Biking is a new monthly riding series. Photo provided
By The Paper staff
The Dam to Dam Ride (D2D) committee and Breakaway Bike and Fitness Shop have collaborated on a new health and wellness initiative that centers itself around the grassroots movement that started the annual Dam to Dam ride.
Beginning the first Saturday in May, the Liking for Biking riding series will kick off as a family friendly fun ride, connecting people who simply enjoy riding their bicycle.
by Eric Stearley
Exactly 20 years ago to the day, the Honeywell Center opened the doors to its new expansion. Known as “The Miracle on Market Street,” the 75,000-square-foot addition included the area’s premier performance hall, the Ford Theater. The 1,500-seat theatre has serves as a cultural center for the community, bringing hundreds of musical and theatrical performances to Wabash over the past two decades.
“When Mark Honeywell established the Honeywell Foundation in 1941, he did so because of his love of Wabash and his vision of a single place where the community could come together to enjoy cultural events, as well as enjoying one another’s company,” said Tod Minnich, executive director of The Honeywell Foundation. “The construction of the Ford Theatre, Eugenia’s Restaurant, and the Clark Gallery, which opened 20 years ago, increased opportunities for cultural enrichment and exposure as evidenced by the high caliber of entertainers who have made their way to the Ford Theater stage over the past two decades. As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of these integral spaces, I am confident that we are continuing to further Mr. Honeywell’s original vision.”
When the expansion opened in 1994, several musical and theatrical acts took the stage, including Wabash native Crystal Gayle. Reading the performance’s program gives the past two decades some perspective; it asked patrons to silence their pagers.
Minnich was named executive director just before the theater’s 10th anniversary.
“We chose to celebrate the 10th anniversary with 10 shows in 2 weeks, and I think people thought that was a pretty unrealistic feat, and we were able to pull it off at a them when, some years, we’d barely been doing 10 shows all year,” said Minnich. “Now we do over 40 shows every year, so it’s been exciting to see the growth in the number of programs we provide.”
April’s celebration is a fitting display of the diversity in the venue’s programming. The festivities commenced on April 2 with a performance by Grammy Award-winning country musician Trisha Yearwood. Local talent brought classical music to the stage with a performance by the Manchester Symphony Orchestra. Retired NCAA basketball coach Bob Knight proved that shows don’t need music or high-tech lights to be well attended as he answered questions from former sports editor of Bloomington’s Herald Times Bob Hammel. Knight was followed by Grammy winner Ronnie Milsap. Pop music star Gavin DeGraw drew the youngest crowd of the month, and audience members spent much of the concert on their feet for the high-energy show. It’s safe to say that a good portion of those attending that show were too young to remember the Honeywell Center without the Ford Theatre.
Still to come are performances by Blue Man Group on Thursday (a sold-out show), The Osmonds on Friday, and Mark Lowry on Saturday.
“Live entertainment continues to grow. There are more people listening to music now than ever before, and it’s been good for the live entertainment business,” Minnich said of the venue’s packed schedule. “We couldn’t book the acts that we’re able to book here if people didn’t buy tickets and come out and see the shows. It’s really all driven by the guests that come through the doors that are willing to put their hard-earned money down to buy a ticket. That’s the only reason we’re able to do this.”
The 20th anniversary celebration was supported by INGUARD, formerly known as Beauchamp McSpadden. Attendees of every show in April receive a special gift from the company in the form of an evergreen seedling ready to be planted.
“It’s been incredibly well received. We couldn’t have done it without INGUARD, and the “grow with us” philosophy is something that we really believe in,” said Minnich. “Hopefully when we celebrate the 40th anniversary another 20 years from now, there’ll be close to 10,000 trees that will be 20, 30, 40 feet tall.”
With three shows still to come in April, there is plenty of time to be a part of the anniversary celebration of one of the most iconic landmarks in Wabash County. Those interested in the physical structure can take advantage of free tours of the 75,000-square-foot addition. The first chance for a tour is Monday, April 28 from 5-7 p.m. Tours will also be offered on Wednesday, May 7 at the same time. In addition, the Clark Gallery is featuring local student artists in its current exhibit, which is on display until April 30. Finally, the Plaza Music Series kicks off May 1 with a performance by the John Kirkwood Band in the Carpenter Plaza, the outdoor portion of the 1994 expansion.
“For those who remember it growing up here or saw it being built as an adult, the response has overwhelmingly been, ‘Wow! Has it really been 20 years already?’” said Minnich. “It has been 20 years and we just want to continue to grow and serve people as opportunities present themselves.”
For more information on the Honeywell Center and upcoming shows at the Ford Theater, go to www.honeywellcenter.org.