| G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD – Ask Springfield native Joan Lisse if she remembers coming to the Bing Theater and she can reel off a list of family films she saw there.
The Bing was a part of her life in Springfield and now she is continuing that relationship, but in a different way.
Lisse and her husband Dr. Jeffrey Lisse were visiting the area from their home in Tucson, AZ, and came to the Bing Arts Center to make a $25,000 donation to assist the center’s educational programming that honors Joan’s parents Richard and Ethel Hanley.
Brian Hale, the center’s executive director, and Joan were classmates at Classical High School and the two re-connected through Facebook.
Hale explained to Reminder Publications, “She has always been an avid arts advocate and has enthusiastically supported the Bing Arts Center since discovering the development efforts. Her mother, Ethel Hanley, was an accomplished amateur watercolor painter. When Jeff and Joan were considering ways to honor her parents, they decided that funding ongoing arts education at the Bing would be a great choice.”
The Richard & Ethel Hanley Arts Education Program at the Bing will offer art classes and workshops year-round with some of the programs fostering the creation of new art to be presented and displayed at the Bing. There will be an annual film education and appreciation series, studio art classes, video production workshops, music workshops, and a summer mural painting program.
Hale added, “This wonderful gift from Joan and Jeff will make it possible for us to broaden and sustain our arts education efforts at the Bing while honoring her parents. We are very grateful for the Lisse’s generous support!”
The gift comes just two weeks before an event Hale hopes will introduce people to the arts and entertainment programming at the Bing. The free “Bing Booster Bash” will be from 5 to 8 p.m. on April 27.
Visitors will be able to see the current exhibit, Paul Bloomfield’s exhibition of photographs and works on paper and listen to the Eric Bascom Quintet, which will play a mix of modern jazz, standards and originals.
Benson’s Bagels will supply appetizers and desserts and White Lion Brewery will provide drinks.