Grant provides ‘Small Town-Big Dreams’ program

Staff Report

RIO GRANDE — The University of Rio Grande School of Arts and Letters is hosting a summer program, “Small Town – Big Dreams” at the Markay Theatre in Jackson, Ohio this month. The program is an acting class for high school and college age students in the Jackson, Gallia and Vinton areas.

Professor of fine arts, Greg Miller said the program is being run through the Imagine Arts Endowment for Arts Education. The grant is meant to provide the youth of the tri-state with an outlet for learning more about possibilities and careers in the fine and visual arts fields.

“It’s important to encourage and inspire talented students who are passionate about the arts to pursue their dreams and goals,” Miller said. “There are high school age students in our community interested in a career in theater, but do not know how to get involved in the business. This program is meant to help give them the chance to not only speak with our experienced instructors, but also a career acting coach.”

Miller said this is the second year in a row the program has been offered as an acting class and this year, the guest instructor will be acting coach, Candy Kaniecki Herman of Santa Monica, California.

“It’s really a new challenge to work with people who don’t have experience with professional training. It’s really refreshing to see their enthusiasm,” Kaniecki said. “I’m so excited to work with the students. Classes like this are also a useful tool for learning to express yourself, interact with others and have confidence, which is important no matter what field the students go into.”

Kaniecki, a Cleveland, Ohio, native, owns the West-End Acting Studio in Hollywood, California. Miller said he is excited to bring her 30 years of expertise to Southeast, Ohio for the first week of the program.

“I’m thrilled for Candy to work with the students. She’s had clients who are now actors in film and on Broadway. She’s a fantastic and effective coach, and we are grateful to have her input in our program,” Miller said.

Kaniecki is teaching the class for the first week of instruction. Adjunct professor for the School of Arts and Letters Minda Hager will take over the class through the final performance at the end of the month.

Staff Report