A bicentennial documentary titled “Wellington: Then and Now” is being produced by a pair of village residents and will debut this winter.
A free public screening is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Patricia Lindley Center for the Performing Arts.
Lindley Center director Dottie Cianciola and Wellington High School teacher Dave Conklin started working on the piece just over a year ago. It all started with a conversation at Bread N Brew between Conklin and mayor Hans Schneider.
“Unbelievably, I happened to be there when he happened to come in,” Conklin said. “He had seen our McCormick Middle School documentary that my digital media class had done and he asked if my students would be interested in doing another for the bicentennial. I said, ‘OK, we’re in.’”
Copies of the documentary will be on sale during the premiere showing with all proceeds going toward the WHS digital media department.
Many of Conklin’s students have conducted on-the-street interviews with residents asking about their favorite historical and modern aspects of Wellington.
The finished product is expected to run 60 to 90 minutes with topics including Wellington’s agriculture, architecture, economics, arts, government, and even rumors of “haunted” spots. Conklin’s drone also provided numerous bird’s eye points of view.
After students completed their contributions, Conklin and Cianciola began meeting every Saturday morning at Bread N Brew to keep formulating new ideas.
Conklin has lived in Wellington for nearly his entire life and Cianciola made it her new home 2o years ago after relocating from Cleveland.
“It’s just a lot more relaxed living in a rural area,” Cianciola said. “It’s a step back in time in a good way. I feel safe here and it’s a tight-knit community. That kind of feeling is a big part of what we’re doing with this movie and why we love being a part of this community.”
Both filmmakers paid tribute to the late philanthropist Bill Brumfield for helping create an environment in Wellington where a high-end community theater and artistic environment are possible.
Brumfield donated $1.25 million toward the Lindley Center’s construction, roughly half of total costs. The building was named in honor of his late wife, who served for 27 years as director of the Herrick Memorial Library.
“When I got the job here at the Lindley Center, Bill just walked me through everything,” said Cianciola. “He had his heart and his soul in this place and it was his love letter to his wife. I’m happy to have gotten to know him. He was very passionate about this community and this theater. What he did for this town will live on forever.”
After our interview concluded, Conklin and Cianciola turned the tables — and the camera — to ask this reporter a few questions about working for the Enterprise and the paper’s history in Wellington. I’m honored to be included in the documentary.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.