Many of the community events and activities in this town that bring our community together come from the Hanover ARts and Activities Center. Even though the building itself is a wonderful, historic building that is a lovely place for gatherings and weddings, the Center is much more than the building. It sponsors many of the programs and activities that bring our town and county together. I helped to found and continue to lead the Ashland Musical Variety Show. As far aw we know, we are unique probably in the country in the way that every other year around 350-400 sign up to sing and dance together for rehearsal that last 3 months to put on a show for 3 nights in the Randolph-Macon auditorium. The community building that occurs during those rehearsals is significant for the health and vitality of our area. People from different neighborhoods, businesses, races, economic backgrounds, ages, interests, and experiences sing and dance together--causing a feeling of unity and understanding. We have been doing this since l982. I also work with the Hanover Idols competition--helping to organize the auditions before friendly judges and the show for the Finalists. We had two sold-out shows in the Hanover ARts and Activities Center that allowed people with singing talent to share that talent with their friends and family --in a friendly way. Again, the friendships that were forged through the experience will continue. My first experience with the Center was when our two daughters went to pre-school in the basement and the Ashland library was housed there. Whenever there has been a need in our town or area, the Center has met that need.
Hanover Arts and Activities Center has been a part of my life for 2 years. It is an excellent example of how community involvement can make a difference locally. The volunteers are dedicated to improving their community.
To put it simply, Hanover Arts & Activities Center is what makes Ashland a dream - what makes the town seem like something off of a movie set rather than real life. But it is real and HAAC keeps that feeling going through the town by all that they do and sponsor. Hanover Arts & Activities Center is Ashland!
Hanover Arts & Activities Center has a way of brining Ashland and Hanover residents together for a variety of community related events. The small town charm of Ashland lends itself nicely to the offerings of HAAC. HAAC truly is the "center of the center" in Ashland!! I have enjoyed becoming more involved in my community as a result of my board membership in HAAC. While I enjoy the events we sponsor, if we had additional funding, we could offer a wider range of art classes to the membership and public at large. Such as painting, pottery, music, dance, art themed field trips, historic talks, etc.
The Hanover Arts &Activities;Center physically and psychologically helps to center the town of Ashland. The programs, the members, the events reflect everything that is positive and uplifting about smallcommunity life. The events sponsored by the Center create a place for people to meet, for people to meet new people, for people to feel good about themselves, for people to feel they can make a positive inpact on their community. When we first moved to Ashland, the Center events and programs were where we made friends, where we joined in to help others; where we learned whatcommunity building can be, at its finest.
We retired to Ashland to be near family. One of our first experiences as "Ashlanders" was to participate in the production of the Musical Variety Show. We have now been a part of that wonderful community activity again and again. It brings the community together to meet and appreciate one another. This is what the Hanover Arts and Activities Center does in so many ways ... through a good, old-fashioned non-motorized Fourth of July Parade, a world class Railroad Run, theater camps for children, "Hanover Idols" production, art shows, book sales, Christmas spectacular, and so much more The Center is truly the "center of the community," offering endless opportunities for community meetings, celebrations, and good old togetherness. We are very grateful for Hanover Arts and Activities Center!
I have been involved in the Hanover Arts and Activities Center with my family for the past few years first as Asst. Director for the Summer Musicals and more recently as a board member. I live about 20 minutes away from the "center", but feel as though it is a home away from home. People make you feel so welcome and accepted (as though you are part of the community). The many activities held at the center are usually at no cost or very little cost which is a great feature when you have 4 small children and want them to have good experiences for low cost. It's also neat to be part of something with such a great history. I was president of the Ashland Junior Woman's Club which was responsible for acquiring the Center and keeping it from impending doom. The Center [for me] is like a lighthouse or a beacon for the community...always there, always open, always welcoming.