Porch Players, Family Players and Music in Scottsville: The Beginnings of the Scottsville Center for Arts and Nature
Believe it or not, we owe our beginnings to Dorothy Maynor
and the Harlem School of the Arts!
You don't know who Dorothy Maynor was? Here is a wikipedia link for a little musical history for you: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothy_Maynor.
So, back in the 1970s, a young mother from NYC traveled to Harlem on the subway to teach youngsters at the Harlem School of the Arts violin. Her name: Mary Sterrett Carroll McCulloch Hardy. Not only was she an instructor working under Dorothy Maynor, but she came from a long line of educators. Anna Austen McCulloch founded Oldfield's School in Glencoe, MD 150 years ago. Until 1960 the headmasters were all descendants of Anna Austin. (Check it out:http://www.oldfieldsschool.org/page.cfm?p=1962). Mary's father was the last in the family line to serve in this capacity.
What the heck does this have to do with Scottsville,
Arts, and Nature?
Mary was a born teacher. She always said "music chose me." She taught in Philadelphia, Richmond, Longwood College and Buckingham before arriving in Scottsville in 1994 toting over 100 stringed instruments. She set up her music studio in the living room of her home (which she rented) on James River Road. “The Family Players” music program met with immediate success as Mary became known as the “music lady” to the general public and “Miss Tudala” to her students. Through the years the “Family Players” teaching program became a rich multi-media experience for children and adults. Students entered through the back door and after an hour or two or three, would leave with music, poetry or games running through their minds. The teachings of Mary Hardy have always been about more than music...
they are a transforming creative experience.
So, here we are...Mary left this earth in November of 2014, but we are determined to carry on her legacy of bringing an underserved community the joy of creating...whether it be in music, dance, visual arts, bee keeping, nature studies, or performing.