Free event includes performances by violinist Odin Rathnam, pianist Gretchen Dekker and the Ngozi African Youth Drummers
Sept. 10, 2010
HARRISBURG – “A Sense of the Arts,” a free community event on the arts in central Pennsylvania, will be presented by the HACC Foundation at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, in the Rose Lehrman Arts Center on the Harrisburg Campus of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College.
“Having a quality arts culture brings professionals to the area to live and work and gives our children a reason to stay in the area,” said Jayne Abrams, executive director of institutional advancement and the HACC Foundation. “And, the contributions from all kinds of artists adds to the region’s overall attraction.”
Craig Cohen, host of WITF’s “Radio Smart Talk,” will moderate a panel discussion on the impact of the arts in attracting professionals to the midstate, and the challenges for art and performance organizations to sustain operations, including continued funding.
Panelists are:
·         Odin Rathnam, concertmaster of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, internationally acclaimed chamber violinist and founder of Concertante Chamber Ensemble and the Else Borges Foundation for Artistic Initiatives
·         David Schankweiler, publisher, CEO and owner of Journal Publications Inc.
·         Charon Battles, program director for Dance and the Preserving Diverse Cultures Division of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA), and founding director of the Erie Bayfront Ballet Company
·         Linda Lefevre, executive dean of academic affairs at HACC’s Harrisburg Campus who is also known throughout the region for her paintings and drawings, and she has exhibited extensively throughout the state
“A Sense of the Arts” will feature live performances by Rathnam, Gretchen Dekker, and the Ngozi African Youth Drummers.
Dekker, a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, has been both a soloist and collaborative artist on the piano and harpsichord throughout the mid-Atlantic region. She has performed with Concertante and serves as an adjunct professor of piano and staff accompanist on the faculty of York College of Pennsylvania.
The Ngozi African Youth Drummers are a group of Harrisburg students who receive  training and education in areas of arts and cultural awareness, physical fitness and African-American studies.
“Support of the arts in turn attracts a skilled workforce at every level,” said Abrams. “Leaders and executives will choose central Pennsylvania as a place to live if they know they can attend performances or art shows without driving to Washington, D.C., or Philadelphia as their only options.”
 “A Sense of the Arts” is a HACC Foundation community partnership event with PNC Wealth Management, Harrisburg Regional Chamber and CREDC, the Cultural Enrichment Fund and the Central Penn Business Journal.
Seating is limited; an RSVP is required. Contact Cyndie Pattison at 232-4099 or online at, click on events page.
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