Marika at the Coleman Theatre

A Entrance to Miami IMG_8227

Entrance to downtown Miami, OK

Coleman Theatre Historical Marker

Coleman Theatre Historical Marker

The Coleman Theatre- exterior

The Coleman Theatre- exterior

The Vaudeville Stage

The Vaudeville Stage

The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ

The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ

E Coleman Interior IMG_8169

The Exhibit

The Exhibit

Mandela-Nelle

Mandela-Nelle

Presentation

Presentation

Excerpt from Presentation

Well, this is about inspiration, creativity, and vision; not my inspiration, creativity, and vision but that of Ms. Darcie Shultz, the Interim Manager of the Coleman Theatre.  Because of her passion for the arts, she is allowing the lines of the visual and performing arts to intersect, merge, and form an artistic  connection.  This is about community.  George Coleman built this magnificent theatre for his community.  Darcie Shultz asked for a sculpture exhibit so that her community could have a visual arts experience in the home of the performing arts.  Ms. Shultz thank you for your kindness and thoughtfulness.

Creativity and community fascinate me.  We imagine creativity happens in a vacuum to a select few.  This is not the case. Inspiration, creativity, and vision, happen in community.  Look closely at the Coleman Theatre Beautiful.  I love how they included the word beautiful in the name.  This is a place of beauty and delight.    The architecture is Spanish Revival, the interior design is Louis XV and the organ is a Wurlitzer.  What we see is the vision of a man who dug water wells for a living and the vision of a community who brought back a decaying building to its former glory.           

Presentation to Upward Bound Students

Presentation to Upward Bound Students

Excerpt from Presentation

One is saying, money is not inspiring; another, creativity comes out of problems, and the third, we need a quest.  So, where does this leave us?  George Coleman built this theatre in a small town on Route 66 halfway between New York City and Los Angles.  

  • Did he find inspiration in money?  
  • Did the building rise up because of a problem or limitation? 
  • Was there a quest?  

George Coleman and his brother made a fortune when they discovered lead and zinc north of town.  Money allowed George to travel and enjoy vaudeville with its variety of entertainment: singing, dancing, comedy, juggling, and one-act plays.  Mr. Coleman had a passion for vaudeville.  They say it was his first love.  I believe, it was this passion for vaudeville that aroused his inspiration to address a problem, a limitation.  His workers and the people of the town could not easily experience vaudeville in 1929.  His quest was  to bring high-calibre acts to a world-class theatre in Miami.

P Presentation Upward Bound Students IMG_8118

 

 

Excerpt from Presentation

Time was allowed to take its toll on the theatre.  The building structure fell into a state of disrepair.  The original furnishings were gone, including the chandeliers and the Mighty Wurlitzer.  Decay.  Faith.  Yes, there were those in the community with the vision of a restored Coleman Theatre Beautiful as the center of the community.  

Miami’s Administrative Assistant, Sue Valliere had the vision to search for the lost Wurlitzer organ.  After it was found, volunteers expended great time and energy in reconstructing it.  There are many stories about what it took to bring second life to the theatre: reconstructing the chandeliers, finding the stained-glass medallions in such places as at garage sale and at a Tulsa restaurant, and the fund-raising effort of a “seat adoption” program.  As Barbara Smith of The Friends of the Coleman said, “This journey has been one of faith.”  And, may I add, it took a self-respecting community with a passion for excellence to undertake the quest.

Entrance to Miami, OK

Entrance to Miami, OK

 

2 thoughts on “Marika at the Coleman Theatre

  1. greetings my lovely friend, iI am so proud of you and all you express. This is another wonderful branch you have grown starting from your birth place of Haiti.You have made Seguin, TX proud and we have so much to live up to in bringing the arts to our town.

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