The three of us met at Lazybrook Park to share art projects we have been working on at home, finding a table at one of the pavilions where we could show each other our latest projects. Yes, Ingrid and Fran and I have now met twice to find support and inspiration for projects that have kept our minds and hands busy during these challenging times. It is through Dietrich classes that we have learned and worked together. Ingrid is working on a one-of-a-kind quilt that has traditional design with a whimsical, totally original central rendering, surprising us with the figure it brings to life. Fran is working on a special quilt to honor our military veterans, using patterns she learned in Ingrid’s quilting class, and adapting it to images of soldiers at attention. I have finished my fabric “painting,” inspired by my daughter-in-law’s pastel painting. I couldn’t wait to show them my final additions and corrections, some of which they had suggested. We ended our visit by encouraging each other to continue to pursue new ideas we each have for continuing or new projects.

When it happens, it is magical. A class coming up that can create this magic is Quilting for Everyone, a class that is all about community, encouragement, and camaraderie. It starts up again soon, led by Ingrid Rogler, on Wednesdays, Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. through Dec. 9. It is all about early American quilting and creating your own environmental view in a landscape quilt. Ingrid tells me that my project helped her envisioned the project, making me feel really special. Each class is only $6 and the fabric is free, as Ingrid has a wonderful collection of fabric from her many years of teaching. Experienced and new quilters are invited to call 570-836-1022, ext. 3 to register. Classes like this one can definitely help you get through these challenging times and enjoy the support of working together. Of course, social distancing and mask wearing are strictly observed, but I am used to it now, aren’t you?

And I have already made plans to go to the very first movie of our next Mini Fest, a chance to see five more foreign and independent films. My sister and my friend Sarah and I all will be at the first showing of John Lewis: Good Trouble on Friday, Sept. 18 at noon. Archival footage chronicles John Lewis’s 60-plus years of civil rights activism, beginning when he was only in his early twenties. Four more movies are onscreen at the Dietrich from Sept. 18 to 24. You can escape into the mindscape of a Scottish character in The Estruscan Smile. You can explore a story of love and liberation in the country of Georgia when you watch And Then We Danced. Enter the world of World War II in England and the trials and tribulations of adopting a young evacuee in Summerland. Travel to Lake Como in Italy for neo-noir love story thriller in The Burnt Orange Heresy. Check the Dietrich website for show times at www.dietrichtheater.com.

It opens your mind to walk into the Earnshaw Gallery and visually absorb the artworks so beautifully displayed. On Sunday, Sept. 20 from 2-5 p.m., we hope you will take the opportunity to come to the Art in Nature reception. It is the first time that Stephen Hendrickson, production designer, has curated and installed an exhibit at the Dietrich, and he will be there with the five artists who are displayed. The paintings, sculptures, and ceramics are featured in two of our galleries that are now the showcase for Amy Colley, Steve Colley, Barry Everson, Eric Buffington and Colleen Germain. Come to the reception and meet the artists and perhaps purchase one of the artworks for sale. To observe social distancing, we are encouraging you to reserve a time to attend the exhibit by calling the Dietrich at the number above. And make sure to remember your mask.

Isn’t it quite extraordinary that in our little corner of northeast Pennsylvania we have a cultural center and movie theater that can keep us uplifted and constantly learning through viewing art and drama or participating in the act of creating art? Since 1998 our Board of Directors believed we could do it and I am so grateful that the belief is still alive. Of course, it is you who make it all come true.

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