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Ripon Arts League tickets available now

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Ripon Arts League tickets available now

Joe O'Leary of the Ripon Arts League shows the new flyer being distributed as part of the membership drive for the organization that aims to bring just about every type of music to Ripon for resid...

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POSTED July 14, 2009 1:00 a.m.


RIPON - When Joe O’Leary retired as the Superintendent of Ripon Unified School District, he know that he was going to have to have something to keep him occupied.


It was 1993, and there were only so many times a man could rearrange his sock drawer before boredom set it.


But with his love of music and his realization that Ripon didn’t have very much to offer the masses, he got together and formed the Ripon Arts League – a grassroots effort that started putting out just three concerts a year and has since grown to five in the 16 years of its existence.
And it’s not your typical type of music either.


While neighboring communities only held one or two standard events a year – often the same genre – the board that O’Leary sat on as the President at the time wanted to make sure that those who turned out got not only a variety of music but something that they hadn’t heard before.
John Mangelos – who at the time ran the Townsend Opera Players in Modesto – made a special appearance with some of his characters dressed in their respective period costumes to entertain the crowd of almost 300.


It was that very performance, O’Leary said, that set the tone for the future of the organization an allowed for even more “members” to become a part of the Ripon Arts League – which required that each of those that attended paid the initial $20 to cover the cost of the rental and the overhead.
Now that price has been raised to $30, and tickets can also be used freely at the Kindred Arts shows in Manteca if there is something they wish to see.


“It was a good way to form a partnership and promote the arts,” O’Leary said – noting that the membership drive is currently underway. “Music is all consuming, and it’s often overlooked for other art forms, and if you haven’t had the chance to broaden your horizons about music then maybe you should.


“It’s good for the soul, it relaxes you, and in a lot of ways culture is passed on through music and that’s something that we need to preserve.”
The $30 membership fee can be mailed to Jackie Ballatore, 19988 S. Carrolton Road, Ripon CA 95366. For information about the groups or the benefits of becoming a member, contact O’Leary at  599-3223.

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