by Migael Scherer
Special to the Weekly
Everyone is invited to Lopez Center’s 20th anniversary weekend. A free dance party, featuring music by Super Wide Groove, begins at 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 19. A community potluck will be held from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20.
The anniversary celebrates an amazing creation in the heart of Lopez. That creation was and is more than a building — it’s the spirit of a community. A community that gave of itself in land, money, and hands-on work to transform five acres of pasture and trees into a place where we connect — Lopez Center for Community and the Arts.
The upcoming events honor the spirit of the grand opening in 1999. On that October day, Lopez children and adults circled the building, one hand on a very long ribbon, a pair of scissors in the other. At the signal, everyone cut the ribbon, then carried their piece inside.
“It was extraordinary watching people enter for the first time,” said Jean Weinheimer, Lopez Center Board chair during construction of the building. “Then hearing the music and seeing little kids dancing with their grandparents.”
The spirit of community and music is a never-ending delight for our small island. That’s why on Saturday night we open the center doors and dance floor for Super Wide Groove to pull you in. Come celebrate with our amazing own Lopez band. Admission is free.
Sunday’s potluck also embodies the community spirit that created and sustains Lopez Center. Everyone is invited and everyone contributes. Please bring your own cutlery, plates, cups, and glasses so that we all share in the work. Grilled salmon and green salads will be provided. There will be a short program about the history and future of the center.
Come ready to share your own memories. Matteus Rabel will have his video camera set up in the meeting room to record your favorite stories of the center.
Of course, there will be music by Hawk Arps. If community spirit is the beating heart of Lopez Center, as much as anyone Arps has provided its rhythm line.
“It’s a mission,” Arps said of his countless benefit concerts at Lopez Center. “When our little boy was very ill just a few years after we moved here, the community threw us a benefit. It opened my heart to the real beauty of this place.”
For Arps, it’s not enough to talk about community spirit.
“You have to show it,” he said. “It’s a living thing that all of us — newcomers especially — need to see and feel to keep it nourished.”
Arps’ vibraphone, accompanied by bass and percussion, will fill the center on Sunday. As always, his music will make something happen inside, and you’ll find yourself moving — your foot, your hand and your heart.