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August 2014 Spotlight: Three Oaks Theater Festival + David Lutken

Three Oaks Theater Festival in Three Oaks, MI presented David Lutken in July 2014. This Arts Midwest Touring Fund—supported engagement featured a public performance and residency activities including panel discussions, question & answer sessions, and community hootenannies over the course of two days. Three Oaks Theater Festival celebrated its sophomore season July 5- August 2, 2014. The Festival, Co-founded by John Stoops, Tim Evans, and Marc Grapey is a summer theater festival that brings limited-engagement runs of highly-acclaimed, professional productions to audiences in Harbor Country, Michigan. The festival’s season, as they say is “beautiful but brief. Just like summer.” Their presentation of David Lutken’s Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie, a show that explores the labor movement through the voice of its champions, was particularly meaningful as the state of Michigan works to employ those people no longer employed by the diminished auto industry in the state.

July 2014 Spotlight: Arts Partnership of Greater Hancock County + Spencers Theatre of Illusion

Arts Partnership of Greater Hancock County in Findlay, OH presented Spencers Theatre of Illusion in October 2013. This Arts Midwest Touring Fund—supported engagement featured a public performance and residency activities, including more than ten workshops for students with special needs at local schools, over the course of three days. Spencers Theatre of Illusion blends together magic, illusion, humor, and personality to cultivate wonder in the audience instead of trick them. With a background in clinical psychology, Kevin likes to say, “I was going to help people’s minds, but now I just mess with them.” Kevin Spencer’s background has helped him and his wife to create a family-friendly magic show accessible to a wide range of ages and abilities. In addition to his high energy, Broadway-style productions, he is considered the leading authority on the educational benefits of integrating simple magic tricks into the learning process. His program, “Hocus-Focus” is a student-centered, experiential-learning program with activities that align to National and Common Core Standards of Learning. It is a creative instructional tool developed to empower teachers and engage students by supporting the learning of all students including autistic, cognitively delayed, emotional disturbed, and learning disabled students.