David Briscoe

The opening act for the opening of the first Duncan Area Arts Hall of Fame was David Briscoe at the beginning of 2019.

The Duncan Area Arts Hall of Fame hosted their inaugural ceremony, featuring artists, musicians and patrons of the arts in the spotlight for their hard work and dedication. Now, they are getting a jump start on the 2020 ceremony and are seeking nominations from the county.

Cindy Parks and Nicole Punneo, this year’s co-chairs, are excited to get the ball rolling.

“Our main goal right now is to get nominations sent in, and they are due Sept. 1,” Parks said. “We are really wanting people to nominate, and it would be awesome.”

There is a form on the Simmons Center website and hard copies in the building as well.

The Duncan Area Arts Hall of Fame (HOF)— which includes the whole county not just Duncan — has a two-part mission, according to Parks.

“It’s mission I think is two-fold … I feel like it’s to celebrate local artists and all of their achievements as well as improve this facility (Simmons Center Theatre) with the money that comes from ticket sales, because this facility has got to be maintained, and it takes a lot of money to do that.”

Punneo said last year, the group focused on replacing the lights in the theatre.

“This year we are hoping for a sound system,” she said.

Rex Outhier, director of the Simmons Center and HOF board member, said that was the next big project.

“The next big purchase we need to do is a sound system, but not only that, throughout the year, there’s just mics … there’s just all kinds of expenses that come up,” he said. “All of our clients who use the facility have needs come up.”

Outhier said the new lighting system was already in and going.

One of the quotes for a new sound system came in around $12,000.

“The whole idea of the hall of fame, like (Parks) said, was to celebrate, but also to create a maintenance fund that we can always go into when we need something here,” he said. “Hopefully we don’t need anything (pressing), and we can build up. Those people need to be celebrated. We have such an artistic community — they need to be celebrated, and this was a good way to do it.”

Parks said the date to save was Jan. 25, 2020 and they were changing things up.

“We are doing something different this year — last year, we had the reception on Friday night and then the awards on Saturday night,” she said. “This year, we’re going to do it all on the same night — have the awards and then the reception afterwards.”

Those who are interested in joining a committee and volunteering to help can reach out via the Facebook page, and the board will get back to them.

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