Speaking of the Arts with Ann Genson: The growth of arts in Mason County

February 29, 2012

Editor’s Note: Again, I would like to introduce another new blogger to the virtual pages of MasonCountyPress.com. I am very proud to announce the addition of Ann Genson as our arts & entertainment blogger with her column Speaking of the Arts. Ann is a fellow Mason County Central graduate, class of ’86 to be specific. I first got to know Ann back in the MCC drama club days when George Reed would direct major spring musical productions. Ann has extensive training and experience in the performing arts, having worked professionally in the business for many years. After being out of the area for a couple decades she is back starting a new career. But, you can’t take the perform out of the arts. So, without further adieu, I give you Ann Genson…



Ann Genson


mcp arts & entertainmnet blogger


Speaking of the arts…


Do you ever find yourself wondering who you used to be? I’m pretty clear on who I am…It’s who I once was that I don’t seem to understand. My “self” of 20 years ago is an unrecognizable snob. I don’t like her, not even a little.


Twenty years ago, my “self” was living in Ludington while working as a costume designer in Muskegon. She had recently completed a B.A. in Theater and was entering her career. She was young and arrogant, like most 23 year-old Americans. She had grown up in Scottville, had moved away to pleasantly eccentric Ann Arbor for college and had returned an arts snob.


Mason County, as far as she was concerned, was a cultural wasteland. It offered no artistic enrichment of any real value. She must have been blind. I’d kick her in the shins if I was a shin kicker – which I’m not – fortunately for her. Now, I must cut her some slack. The state of the arts in Mason County has vastly increased and improved over the past two decades. However, to declare it an artistically challenged wilderness was a bit harsh, even for her.


That brings us to me, my current “self.” I have recently moved back to Mason County, after nearly 20 years away in various parts of the state and the country. I had increased my education by one master’s degree and worked in the arts world for over a decade. I am now pursuing a new career as a professional counselor and have come home to find that Mason County is an artist’s playground and an art lover’s paradise! Am I overstating it? Perhaps. But, I overstated the contempt of my former self as well, so I guess that’s fair. At any rate, in case you hadn’t noticed, Mason County is filled with opportunities for artists of all kinds and art connoisseurs of all kinds as well.


Ludington Area Center for the Arts is teeming with artist opportunities and arts events for the whole family! March alone is quite active! You can see an exhibit of photography by Mason County Press’ very own Rob Alway and his wife Becky from their recent trip to Ireland titled “Emerald Impressions” which opens on March 3. You can attend the Emerald Ball on St. Patrick’s Day featuring Irish inspired cuisine from P.M. Steamers and music by General Assembly Orchestra. Your children can develop as young choral singers in the Lakeshore Children’s Chorus (grades 2-8, every Wednesday evening, check it out!) And find out the winner of the 4th Annual Online Photo Contest.


West Shore Community College has also provided arts and cultural enrichment to the people of Mason County for decades. This month is no exception. Catch Yuki and Tomoko Mack in a duo piano concert on Sunday, March 4. If you’ve never been to a duo piano concert do yourself a favor and go. On March 10, don’t miss Master Irish fiddler Kevin Burke and guitarist Cal Scott for a musical Celtic experience. Be sure to see Theory of Mind, a touring show from Michigan State University, on March 16. This is an insightfully sensitive story of a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome and how he approaches his uncertain future as an adult. And are you a Gleek? WSCC’s Glee-esque showchoir, The Collegiates, will entertain us on March 18 with its spring concert.


And that’s only two of the venues you can visit! So basically, if you say that there is nothing to do around here, you’re either lying to yourself or living under a rock.


As you and my former “self” can plainly see, the arts are most certainly alive and well in Mason County. Boy, does she have egg on her face!?


The views and opinions expressed by our bloggers do not necessarily represent those of MasonCountyPress.com, Alway Photography, Inc. or Media Group 31, Inc. 

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