McCann: New play reading at Leeds

Published 6:00 am Friday, April 15, 2022

By Bill McCann

Being present at the birth of a new play is relatively uncommon here in Winchester. But tomorrow the Leeds Center for the Arts is hosting a reading of a new play by Patrick Mitchell. Better known as a photographer, director and actor than as a playwright, Mitchell told me that he’d been working on writing his new play “for more than twenty years.” Yet, April 16 at 7:30 pm at the Leeds you can see a new work given ‘life” as it jumps off the page as actors read words which Mitchell will have largely heard only in his own head.

A play reading is an event intended almost always as a first opportunity for a playwright to hear a play read for the first time. So it will be with Mitchell’s play, “The Waiting Room”. So what happens in the waiting room of Mitchell’s new play? I don’t know. Afraid, I guess that I’d give a spoiler here in the Sun, Mitchell wouldn’t say. He did say though that I really should be there to find out for myself. So I will be. Join me: 7:30 Saturday at the Leeds.

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Tickets are $10.00.

Executive director search

The GRAC—Gateway Regional Arts Center—is looking for a new executive director as the current one has accepted another position. The position is a full-time salaried position with limited benefits.

The executive director is responsible for for the administration of the Montgomery County Council for the Arts and doing business at the Gateway Regional Arts Center. The person hired will report to a volunteer board of directors and is “responsible for the ensuring the achievement of its mission, programming objectives, and financial goals as well as management of the GRAC facility”.

GRAC promotes, enhances, and contributes to the educational, artistic, and cultural lives” of area residents “through multidisciplinary programs and classes” while serving as a “resource and supportive agency for artists and organizations” in the Gateway region of Kentucky.

Experience and qualifications sought include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four year college or university, three to five years in “not-for-profit management, fundraising, arts/arts education, or community engagement” and the ability to work with “artists, volunteers, educators,” and community members and groups.

The extensive job description, application, and more information about how to apply for the job can b found at Applications will be accepted until May, 1, 2022.

Laureates Out Loud

Kentucky Humanities and Northern Kentucky University are jointly presenting a program they call Laureates Out Loud featuring 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States Joy Harjo and Kentucky’s current poet laureate, Crystal Wilkinson. The evening will feature both laureates discussing social justice, inclusion, and storytelling through poetry. The evening’s moderator is Eric H. Kearney, president/CEO of the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce and president of the Northern Kentucky University Foundation.

The event will take place on Saturday April 23rd at 7:00 p.m. at the NKU Greaves Concert Hall on the NKU campus. The event is free and open to the public. However, advance registration is required. Visit to register.

Joy Harjo is a member of the Mvskoke Nation and belongs to Oce Vpofv (Hickory Ground).She is the author of nine books including her most recent Poet Warrior: A Memoir and the highly acclaimed An American Sunrise, and has received numerous awards and accolades for poetry.

Crystal Wilkinson, is an African American feminist writer, is the Poet Laureate of Kentucky and proponent of the Affrilachian Poet movement. She is a 2020 USA Fellow of Creative Writing and a 2021 O. Henry Prize winner. She teaches at the University of Kentucky and is the acclaimed author of “Perfect Black”,”The Birds of Opulence”, “Blackberries Blackberries”, and “Water Street”.

Eric H. Kearney has had a distinguished career in law, business, and politics. As a state senator, Eric served as Ohio Senate minority leader and championed a number of causes including creating Ohio’s Poet Laureate. He founded and built one of the largest African American owned publishing companies, Sesh Communications, which publishes The Cincinnati Herald, The Northern Kentucky Herald, The Dayton Defender, and other publications. Kearney earned a B.A. in English from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.