Arts and entertainment world grows in Amish Country

Arts and entertainment world grows in Amish Country

When the Holmes Center for the Arts celebrated its grand opening on Monday, March 28, it continued a growing trend of enhancing the arts and entertainment corridor that is expanding along the state Route 39 corridor from the Ohio Theater in Loudonville to Kent State Tuscarawas Performing Arts Center in New Philadelphia.

In between, new opportunities including the Ohio Star Theater in Sugarcreek, Amish Country Theater in Berlin and many others continue to expand the arts in Holmes and Tuscarawas counties.

The addition of the new HCA center only adds to the opportunities to enjoy arts and entertainment, and that has not gone unnoticed.

Matt Keeler, chairman of the Holmes County Tourism Council, said the newest arts and entertainment addition is one that will grow the arts and take what is available to those interested in the arts to a whole new level. He said the goal of the group is to grow Holmes County and attract people from outside the area to come and visit, and offering these types of opportunities only enhances their effort.

“This is a big deal for tourism in Holmes County and for the locals,” Keeler said. “When you look at where our gaps are in Holmes County as far as things to do when you visit, this really starts to fill that void and creates something we didn’t have up until this point.”

Tiffany Gerber, executive director of the Holmes County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, said seeing this type of growth helps her team’s ability to promote the area and invite travelers to visit.

“It always amazes me to see how this community comes together,” Gerber said. “One of the things that can be most challenging for my job is that we are the chamber of commerce and the tourism bureau. It’s not often that a new attraction opens that checks marks on both sides. This does that because it is going to add to the quality of life. It is going to add to the community in general, with educational opportunities, and it also has plans to incorporate visitors. This is going to add product, whether you live here or visit here.”

The entities that exist are already excited about teaming up with the HCA and recognize the growth possibilities that come with the growth in the arts and entertainment world.

“We are bringing that flavor to the area,” said Steve Schneiter, general manager of the Ohio Star Theater, referring to the arts. “We love being a part of that, and we love partnering with folks who share that passion. We are one with one another, and we are hoping to make a big impact on the area.”

While the HCA may be the newest addition, there are already thoughts and ideas being bounced around on how the area can further expand and grow to provide more reasons to visit Amish Country.

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