New Arts Program Launches

An exciting new arts program is being launched in Wheeling through a partnership between the Ohio County Public Library, Oglebay Institute and Wheeling Jesuit University’s fine and performing arts department.

Sean Duffy, coordinator of programming at the library, announced plans for the new initiative to the audience gathered for the weekly Lunch With Books session Tuesday, May 29. He explained that the three cultural institutions have teamed up to create the Wheeling Film Society, which will offer free screenings and conversations about classic films.

For this series, classic films will be shown at Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Cinema, located at 2118 Market St., Wheeling. After the film screening, a discussion of the featured flick will be offered at the Ohio County Public Library, 52 16th St.

Host John Whitehead, who teaches film studies at WJU, will provide an introduction to the inaugural season and to the first offering. He will speak in the library’s auditorium Tuesday, Oct. 23.

Duffy revealed that the first movie selected for the Wheeling Film Society is the classic drama, “Casablanca.” The famous film, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, will be shown at Towngate Cinema Friday, Oct. 26.

A conversation on “Casablanca” and this genre from Hollywood’s golden age will take place at the library Tuesday, Oct. 30.

On another arts-related note, officials of the Wheeling Arts and Cultural Commission have announced that WesBanco will be the lead sponsor for the second annual Wheeling Arts Fest being offered in the downtown area Saturday, July 14.

The Ohio County Public Library will again be a venue for the Wheeling Arts Fest. While details of the other venues’ programming have not been announced yet, Duffy said events at the library will begin with poetry readings and an open microphone session at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, July 14.

West Virginia’s new poet laureate, Marc Harshman of Wheeling, will lead a creative writing workshop at 1 p.m. that day.

Arts Fest activities at the library will conclude at 3 p.m. with a play reading. An excerpt from “The Boy in the Box,” a new play written by Wheeling native Sean O’Leary, will be performed by his father, veteran Wheeling actor Hal O’Leary.

As with all programming at the library, the Arts Fest events at that venue are free and open to the public.

Meanwhile, the Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library will be the site for Harshman’s first area apperance since his appointment as West Virginia poet laureate.

Harshman will present a poetry reading at the library, located at 700 Fifth St., Moundsville, at 6 p.m. Monday, June 11.

The program is free and open to the public.

This weekend’s rain (and the additional precipitation predicted for this week) should ensure a “green” look for Oglebay Institute’s Secret Gardens of Wheeling Tour and Garden Market Saturday, June 9.

The marketplace will be set up on the grounds of Oglebay Institute’s Mansion Museum in Oglebay Park. Visitors can purchase tickets there for the Secret Gardens tour. Upon buying tickets, guests will be given maps and directions to the featured gardens, all located in the Wheeling area.

Wheeling Jesuit University officials will honor the Rev. James O’Brien, S.J., this month as he marks his 50th year at the institution.

The tribute to the longest-serving Jesuit in the school’s history will take place during the president’s dinner and award ceremony on the WJU campus at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 23. The dinner and ceremony will be part of the school’s alumni weekend festivities.

For more information or to make reservations for the dinner, call the alumni relations office at 304-243-8166 or check online at

Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at: