HomeTop StoriesConneaut Library plans amphitheater use

Conneaut Library plans amphitheater use

April 13—CONNEAUT — After months of work, the new amphitheater on the grounds of the Conneaut Public Library is nearly complete and library staff plan to use the space for a variety of summer activities.

Kathy Zappitello, director of the library, said the grass needs more time to take root, and some minor work still needs to be done on the structure itself.

“This weather is good for us now, and the rain is very good… and by May we hope we’ll be ready for visitors to come,” she said.

Program coordinator Ashley Sharp said the library will kick off summer readings in the amphitheater

“We have all kinds of things planned for it,” she said.

A scavenger hunt, talent show and dance party with music are planned as part of the May 31 event.

Zappitello said the library was able to build the amphitheater because of the grants awarded to it based on data showing how much use the library gets and how much programming the library hosts.

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“We’re moving our traditional summer programs, summer reading and things like that, to that outdoor space,” she said.

Doing so will create additional space in the library for other events, Zappitello said.

A ribbon-cutting event is planned for June 12 and other events will take place throughout the week, depending on the weather, Sharp said.

Zappitello said there will also be a less formal event aimed at children on June 13.

She said staff decorated the meeting room for summer reading.

“We don’t do that anymore, that whole production takes place outside,” Zappitello said.

She said library staff are having to adjust to a new routine and figure out how to direct patrons to the amphitheater.

“We have to think about it now as we continue to build and grow and finish the space,” Zappitello said.

She said library staff are moving slowly and trying to determine what the planning and use of the amphitheater will look like.

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This is a new position for Sharp, who is trying to build programming at the amphitheater, Zappitello said.

The summer reading program will have an adventure theme, Sharp said.

“There’s going to be a lot of Bigfoot going on,” she said. “We’re going to do a Middle-Earth walking challenge that goes to each of the Metroparks here in Conneaut.”

Zappitello said the library is working with the Ashtabula County Metroparks on this.

“We’re preparing to be outside a lot,” Sharp said.

Zappitello said she plans to have a Halloween party at the library.

The library will use this year to figure out when library events should use the amphitheater, and when it will be available for public use, she said.

“So that’s step No. 1, but step No. 2 is, what does the paperwork look like?” said Zappitello. “How does someone use the space? We’ve never had visitors, we don’t know how to do that.”

She said her goal is to make everyone who uses the space for a program feel like they are having a good time.

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“When you drive by or walk on the sidewalk and look back, what do you see? How are people behaving? What do you see on their faces? What do you see them physically doing, and how does that make you feel?” said Zappitello. “That’s more important to me than anything, that you’re there in that space, and you’re under the sun in Conneaut, Ohio, or the rain, or the snow, and you’re sharing with the people next to you, on our lawn , in this educational environment. That’s what I love.”

Zappitello said Sharp is a spectacular graphic artist.

“She is the one who created the amphitheater, it was based on her drawings,” she said.

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