PASSING THE BRUSH: Art fest names new coordinators

COLUMBIA CITY — The Whitley County Autumn Art Festival was held earlier in September around the courthouse square with vendors and patrons commenting on the success of the event.Trudy Miller-Longhenry has been the event’s coordinator for seven years. After this year’s festival, Miller-Longhenry “passed the paintbrush” to the Whitley County Humane Society.“I will still be involved next year. I’ll be behind the scenes,” said Miller-Longhenry. “I want to see the festival succeed, so I am willing to help them out.”Miller-Longhenry said she felt this past year’s event drew the biggest crowd. “Although the festival is well attended, it isn’t meant to be about money. It is about awareness and to create a scholarship for art students,” said Miller-Longhenry.According to Miller-Longhenry, the humane society, who was not willing to comment on its involvement, is not going to make many changes to the annual event.“I think one of the things they might change is to add local talent to the entertainment line-up,” Miller-Longhenry said. “I think that’s a good idea. It will bring more visitors out.”The Whitley County Humane Society will have the event as a way to serve the community, but also as an opportunity to generate awareness for the shelter.“The festival is a great visual and a great tool for organizations,” said Miller-Longhenry.At this point, the festival is still slated to take place in the fall and the event will still offer scholarships to students as had been in the past.Individuals that were key in making this year’s festival successful include MaryAnn Anderson, Tim Bloom, Mike Minier, Michelle Patton, Mike Rush, Dick Buchanan, Aileen Meier, Carole Krider, Patty Goldsby, Nancy Reiff, Bonnie Shipman, Sharon Dunnuck, Jim Dunnuck, Janet Hinen,Lorene Perry, Alyce Perry, Sue Harker,Kay Fleck, Bethany Hapner, Allen Etter, Connor Ladd, Sarah Creason, Jessica Lung, Nick Reys, Brooke Burman, Mukuria Gathogo, Curt Longhenry, Shabree Longhenry, Rysn Longhenry, Mike Caldwell, Kyla Chamberlain, Tasha Chamberlain, Macie Minier, Lydia Morgan; cheerleaders: Coach Kayla Hogue, Bonnie Smith, Madi Cochran, Taylor Duncan, Courtney Davis, Dez Laux ,Riley Fry, Kennedy Slavicek, and Jade Schoppell; wrestlers: Hunter Larue, Landon Hodges, Payton Walter.Paige Walter,Brice Bauer, Alan Trabert, Russell Hazelet, Damon Blakburn,Riley Harter, Michael Wright and parent representative,Jane Trabert.Miller-Longhenry said, “There were a lot of local business that gave monetary donations. That is such a big help. Also, the Whitley County Community Foundation is such a big supporter and the City of Columbia City who helped promote the event. Thank you all for loving the arts.”