The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood

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Thursday, October 28, 1999 Our Towns Our Towns Our Towns Our Towns Our Towns Our 2nd Annual Edition Page 15

CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK

Dance and Poetry

the small stage on the carriage floor of the facility. The Cultural Arts Center is also home to the Carriage House Poetry Reading Series, a project which was established by Fanwood Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly in March of this

year and funded in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Department of State, through a grant administered by the Union County Division of Cultural and Heritage Affairs.

Spearheaded by Mayor Connelly and grant author and series Director Adele Kenny, the poetry series has instituted a unique forum for published poets and lovers of prose. The former Carriage House is once again a haven for those who find relaxation in the beauty of words and their meaning.

Ms. Kenny, a 25- year resident of Fanwood and a community volunteer, has authored 19 books and received several awards and honors for her writings. She currently serves as Director of the borough’s Cultural Arts Committee. On January 24, the Carriage House was renamed in honor of the late Patricia M. Kuran, Fanwood’s first woman mayor, who strove to preserve the historic building as portions of the structure were destroyed. Mrs. Kuran died in 1996.

The poetry series, which is held the third Thursday of every other month, highlights the poetry of top- notch writers.

Writers have also had an opportunity this year to sharpen their pencils and their skills through a workshop program, which was provided by the Fanwood Cultural Arts Committee.

Several festivals and celebrations are also on tap. The Cultural Arts Committee has announced a Holiday Festival which will be held on Sunday, December 5. Valentine’s Day will be celebrated on Monday, February 14, while Victorian Day is planned for Sunday, April 30. An Art Show and Season Finale will be held on Friday, June 30.

“As we approach the end of this century and move forward into the new millennium, it is my hope that Fanwood will become firmly established on New Jersey’s ‘cultural map’ and that the former Carriage House will become the site of quality arts events, with all the pride of place in our community that it deserves,” Ms. Kenny stated.

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Beloved Fanwood Oak Lives On In Spirit as Part of Local History

More than 300 years old at the end of its life, the majestic Fanwood Oak had been a seedling in the same era when Europeans first crossed the Atlantic in search of religious freedom and prosperity in the American colonies.

During the tree’s long lifetime, Americans won independence from Great Britain, journeyed westward to the Pacific, were divided by civil war, built cities and suburbs, survived the Great Depression, fought for freedom in Europe, Asia and the Pacific, walked on the moon and harnessed the power of satellite communication and the Internet.

The cherished oak eventually fell victim to disease and had to be cut down before it toppled. Seeking to give the tree a fitting farewell beforehand, a special ceremony was held on November 3, 1996, featuring a Native American ritual conducted by Chief Roy Crazy Horse of the Powhatan Indian Tribe.

Although no longer physically present, the Fanwood Oak remains an indelible image in the hearts and minds of borough residents, and a unique symbol of the community’s historic heritage.

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Fanwood, a Depression- era theater group which has long made the former Carriage House its home, presented the romantic comedy Play It Again, Sam this past spring.

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Copyright 1999 - The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)