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Despite government shutdown, Athens artists prevail

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Regardless of a government shutdown, the City of Athens continues to take care to ensure the cultural entertainment of its residents through the Arts West program.

The building ,132 West State St. Arts West, an old church located where West State St. splits with Miller St., has spent the last year under renovation to open as a gallery and place of expression for actors and playwrights to produce plays and other shows. The building re-opened at the beginning of September under the supervision of the city Arts, Parks and Recreation Department.

Chelsa Peterson, Program Specialist at Arts West, described the changes to the space.

“(The space) Includes hardwood floors, movable seating, gallery panels, track lighting and a hanging system as well as drapes,” said Peterson.

Upcoming events in the month of October include local photographer Jim Shirey’s photos focused on nature on Oct. 11 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., Missy Whaley’s Needle Felting Workshop on Oct. 17 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. and the Humble Play Festival on Oct. 17 at 7:00 p.m.

“This year we will focus on past plays that have been rewritten which gives the playwright a chance to show what they have worked on since the past reading,” Peterson said regarding the Humble Play Festival on the city’s website.

The festival invites playwrights based on their submissions to a committee of judges who choose the plays, which eventually perform as staged versions to the public once a year for the three day festival, according to the Arts West blog.

Perhaps the biggest attraction to the new space will be the performance of the Rocky Horror Picture Show towards the end of the month. Traditionally shown at the Union Bar on Union St., the Ohio University student-performed depiction of the pop culture phenomena will be viewed just through the film version on Oct. 24 and 25 at 7:00 p.m. Participants are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite character.

For more information about the upcoming events residents can visit the center’s blog or follow Arts West on Twitter or Facebook.

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