CCC’s FPAC programming future plans?


By Michael Guilford

Staff Writer

Since 1995, the Frank Guaracini Fine and Performing Arts Center has entertained the community with dazzling shows in its mission to bring quality performances to Cumberland.
At the end of August 2017, that mission could be in jeopardy as non-academic performances for the 2017-2018 year have been placed on indefinite hiatus. The future for the Luciano Theater is unknown.
All is not lost, Deborah Bradshaw’s stellar sellout offerings will continue as academic programming would not be impacted. Scheduled for a November debut, Bradshaw’s production of Godspell is sure to dazzle audiences, with its messages of kindness, love and peace and a parade of hits like “Day by Day” and “Learn Your Lessons Well.”
However, she will do so without support of Assistant Director of Theater Programming, Christopher Totora, who served as Technical Director since 2004. Totora will continue his career as Technical Director at the Mandell Theater in Philadelphia.

The decision to place future programs on hiatus was made in conjunction with Totora’s departure by campus administrators, however, the program has been in jeopardy for several years now as programming failed to make a profit. Continual decline in enrollment, annual shortfalls in budget for the performing arts, lack of awareness; the program was already primed for the chopping block. Running a skeleton crew of volunteers and part-time staff the program was left with no fat to trim to stay afloat, despite departures from the box office manager and Totora.
Things have changed since the program’s inception 20 years ago. Competition from renovated theaters such as the Levoy in Millville, 8 miles from the Luciano, as well as the renewal of Landis Theater in downtown Vineland act as stiff competition for a theater situated almost equidistant from two rivals.
Also, down the road from the Luciano Theater, is the Cumberland Players, within a short 10 mile radius of the Luciano theater are three competitors vying for limited patron’s attention with similar content.
In a perfect world, an over saturation of the arts would be seen as a boon and business would be booming, unfortunately things don’t always work out the way they should. As theater managers at Luciano reported difficulty even giving tickets away to patrons.
It’s tough to point toward a single cause for the discontinuation of programming but the lack of public interest could point toward one culprit: limited marketing.
Given limited amount of public attendance and the success of other programs in the area, it would be reasonable to speculate that awareness of the programs existence was limited at best.
The original mission of the theater was to attract people with quality programming who wouldn’t normally visit. Volunteers, working for the theater act as advocates, bringing visitors to campus promoting CCC.
Children were bussed in frequently from schools to experience the wonder of theater. Director of theater programming at the Luciano Theater, Beatrice Hughes, remarked on the impressions of children coming to the theater for the first time; “The doors opened and their expressions were just WOW! before the show even began.”
Hughes mentions how she will miss seeing their cute faces on campus. The program was a great tool to attract younger generations of students to CCC. It showed what they’d have available as they grew, promoting college accessibility through the arts.
The college plans to reevaluate the future of the FPAC program during the 2017-2018 year, to see if there is a new direction it could take.
Without private funders to help buttress the program; as other theater programs in the county have access to, it may be difficult for the college to shoulder the burden of operating the theater alone, leaving the future of the College’s theater program unknown.


Gardening Club Article





What is it about gardening that can cause feelings of great euphoria? Maybe it’s enveloping your hands in the rich, warm soil whilst preparing the ground for the seeds. Maybe it’s the moment when the budding flower that you grew by hand bursts into bloom, and all your hard work has finally payed off. Or maybe it’s just the overall pleasurableness of being out in a garden on a glorious day, soaking up the sun alongside of the sun thirsty seedlings.


Whatever the reason, you can now experience this green thumb bliss by joining Cumberland County College’s (CCC) brand new Gardening Club.


Now, you’re probably thinking “Gardening? Sounds intriguing but I have no experience whatsoever with this foreign hobby—I wouldn’t know the first place to start” (Got it right didn’t I? Yes, I know I must be psychic, I can read your deepest and darkest gardening questions). Don’t worry, no prior gardening knowledge is required. All you need to do is have an interest in gardening, plants, and the way that they work.


The clubs mission is to further educate students by exposure to agriculture and horticulture opportunities in the community, and at the college. It also hopes to foster greater interest in gardening not just as a hobby, but as a potential career choice as well.


This club is open to all students at CCC, not just Agriculture Majors. Club members can plant whatever type of plants they want. They already have a wide variety of ornamental, vegetable, house, and tropical plants growing in the greenhouse on campus—they even have a banana tree growing in there. Some of the members are into the art of Bonsai. This is the art of growing ornamental, artificially dwarfed trees and/or shrubs in a pot, to artificially prevent the plant from reaching its normal size.


Students are free—in fact they are encouraged— to explore unconventional growing techniques and environments for different types of plants. During club meetings members will learn about traditional composting, and vermicomposting, as well as aquaponics and sprinkler systems.


To get involved and stay connected on campus, the club is hoping to partner up with the maintenance crew on campus to assist with the annual spring planting.


When do they meet? An email is sent out to club members as to when they are meeting that week. Where do they meet? They meet in the Science Building’s computer lab. Most communication is posted on the Facebook group “CCC Gardening Club.” Where is the greenhouse? The greenhouse is located in the back left-hand section behind the Science Building.

If any of the above information has piqued the hidden gardener inside of you, or you have any further questions regarding the club, contact Club President Brian Magee at, or drop by the greenhouse located behind the Science building.


The club hopes to expand as much as possible, and encourages students from all majors to try gardening. See you in the greenhouse!


Cumberland County College’s: More than just books



Justin Diaz/Staff Photographer


Staff Writer

Students do not seem to use the most powerful tool on campus to their fullest extent. That tool is the library, which can be used by anyone. You would be fascinated by the things you didn’t know you could do there. There are so many different tools that can be used at the library that students ignore because they didn’t even know they existed.

The Cumberland County College library is a nice, quiet place for doing homework, studying, reading, and learning. Many students are not aware of what they can discover besides books.

Other than books, you can borrow CDs and DVDs. Newspapers and magazines can be copied and scanned. Computers with free Internet access and programs like Microsoft Word and PowerPoint are available at all times with assistance from any librarian, if needed.

This could be the perfect place to finish a term paper. There is even a printer and scanner available. Many students do not come in because they are not fully aware of what the library has to offer.

All of the librarians are ready to help at any time with just about any question you could have about the library. From looking for a book or DVD to needing help with the equipment, they are always there to assist students. Our library offers free access to over 25 libraries in the LOGIN system. So if you cannot find a certain book you need, they can order it and have it sent straight to them for pick up. They will also take any suggestions for any materials that they do not already have.

Most students these days leave campus right after their classes to do homework at home instead of heading to the library. Some students have not even been into the school’s library to see what it has to offer. They might think that having to be quiet for other students or the space might be too small. But studying from home might not be the best solution either.

Spending your time at the library for your educational purposes keeps you away from distractions you may face when in the comfort of your own bedroom. Studying in the school’s library has more tools available than you might have at home. You could reserve study rooms for you and your group to study in peace and quiet. Having friends and fellow students around to help you and encourage you is what some students need.

The library is not just open to students, but to the public as well, with some restrictions on borrowing supplies. Many people do not realize that they can come in and use Cumberland County College’s library just like any other library. They highly encourage you to take part in an online satisfaction survey. “We appreciate frequent feedback from our students and colleagues; it’s always rewarding to hear when we’ve helped or succeeded. But just as importantly, we need to know if there’s anything we’re not getting right at the library because it’s the only way we can grow into an institution that can better serve our community,” said Mandy Blasberg. The library is there for a reason. It is there to help you by giving you a place to focus on schoolwork and complete it with little distractions. There are tools there that can be used whenever you need them.

Using the library can benefit new students and returning students alike. It will always be there for students so please consider visiting Cumberland County College’s library and utilizing its resources.

During a regular semester schedule the library is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30am to 9:00pm Friday from 8:30am to 4:00pm Saturday from 10:00am to 2:00pm Sundays are closed During a semester break Monday through Thursday from 8:30am to 4:30pm Friday from 8:30am to 4:00pm Saturdays and Sundays are closed.

Get your hands dirty at Pottery Boot Camp


For anyone who is interested in honing in on their crafting skills, it’s not too late to sign up for spring classes at CCC’s Clay College! Located on High Street in Millville, the Clay College offers noncredit classes to anyone interested, student or not. Annual pottery classes of multiple levels are offered in the spring including: Intro to Pottery, Advanced Pottery for Adults, and Intro to Pottery Wheel. Pottery Boot Camp will be available for the first time this spring. Whatever your skill level is, you will be able to find your niche at the Clay College.

Intro to Pottery classes run from May 23 to June 27 on Monday evenings, 6-9 PM. It costs $135 to register with no previous experience needed. According to flyers advertising the courses, “[Intro to Pottery] explores hand-building techniques such as pinch, coil and slab, and throwing on the pottery wheel. Glaze, firings, and studio access are including in this six-week class.” This class is best for people that want to begin learning the craft or are just looking for a creative activity to try.

Advanced Pottery for Adults begins on May 18 and winds down on June 29. Classes are from 6-9 PM on Wednesdays and costs $190 total. “It is a seven-week course is for the more advanced student who already has some knowledge of creating pottery. Ceramic processes and techniques will be covered while developing student’s individual work.” Clay College will provide some of the necessary materials, but TBD materials will be up to the students to obtain themselves.

Intro to Pottery Wheel is another beginner’s class, but this one focuses solely on pottery made on a wheel rather than hand crafted items. This class runs from May 31 to June 28 on Tuesday’s from 6-9 PM. Classes cost $135. As advertised, “students will learn through weekly demonstrations and hands-on instruction how to make basic forms on the wheel.”

Pottery Boot Camp is the Clay College’s newest class. It is a four-week intensive class that teaches beginning hand-building techniques and a quick lesson on the wheel. This class is ideal for people who don’t have the time to commit to a regular class. However, it is limited to 10 available spots for prospective students. This class takes place on Saturday’s from 1-4 PM between April 30 and May 21. It is the least expensive of the classes, costing only $125.

As an added bonus, participants will receive two months of studio time during the months of July and August for absolutely free, along with their purchase of any of the classes provided. To gain more information or sign up for a class, visit

4 Woman writers to check out this summer


Here are four award-winning ladies who are challenging the literary world with their courageous stories, denouncing the stereotypical view of female authors. Alysia Harris, Nicole Krauss, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Andrea Gibson are four authors you do not want to miss.

Alysia Harris is a renowned spoken-word poet and former member of the performance collective, The Strivers Row. tells readers she has performed in seven countries and as part of the winning teams in the 2007 CUPSI and Brave New Voices competitions. Her lines evoke emotional response; “Hoes, boppers, and skanks. What’s in a name, but a whole lot of rape culture?” Harris meshes elegance, honesty, grit, and current culture to bring her poems to life. Her newly published chapbook, How Much We Must Have Looked like Stars to Stars, is already award-winning and highly coveted by fans.

Nicole Krauss has been named by The New York Times as “one of America’s most important novelists.” Her internationally best-selling books have been translated into 35 languages and her novels Great House, The History of Love, and Man Walks into a Room, have all won or been finalists for numerous awards. In 2010, Krauss was chosen by The New Yorker for their “20 under 40” list. She proves herself worthy of her laudable title with her intricately woven and always surprising stories. Krauss’ books share common themes such as memory, how people recover from great losses, and exploration of the inner self.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian author and winner of multiple awards, including the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction. She has written three novels, Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, and Americanah, and myriad short stories. Her compelling novels tackle issues dealt with by her own people such as political instability and the Nigerian Civil War, as well as love and personal unrest. She is a celebrated TED speaker and feminist; a woman who, according to an interview with The Guardian, “doesn’t seek to upset critics, but does so willingly if that’s what it takes.”

Andrea Gibson is a spoken-word poet and activist for gender and LGBTQ issues who prefers to use they/their pronouns rather than she/he. They have six published works including The Madness Vase and their latest book, Pansy. shares Gibson was the first winner of the Women’s World Poetry Slam. In an interview with, Gibson tells that they prefer to write and perform collaboratively with musicians. Gibson is raw and truthful in both their poetry and activism. They write about weighted issues such as rape, gender norms, war, and bullying as a way to start a dialogue that so many people try to avoid.

With their honest depictions of life from the woman’s point of view, these authors and poets are not afraid to speak for themselves and countless others who seek to change female writing into a truthful discussion instead of the usual frills.

Having a fling in the spring

Having a fling in the spring


It’s the last semester until summer, and it’s a beautiful time to be alive! The birds are chirping and the weather is warming up. That also means the annual Cumberland County College Spring Fling is upon us!

Every spring semester, CCC hosts a campus-wide Spring Fling event for all students to enjoy. Each year, the Spring Fling has a new theme. This year, the theme will focus on ancient civilizations.The yearly celebration includes a bunch of fun features, such as a moon bounce and activities that accompany the theme. Some of the features included are dancing, karaoke and caricature artists.

The Spring Fling is an opportunity for students to get away from the stress of finals. This is the time for students to relax and have fun. The ancient civilization theme is a unique and amusing idea that breathes excitement into the Spring Fling. Thanks to Kellie Slade, Jean Erwin and other staff members, students are able to enjoy cool refreshments and energetic activities.

To get attendance rolling, the first 200 students who show a valid student ID will receive a free lunch. The lunch includes assorted cold subs and chips with a drink.

The Spring Fling kicks off on April 27 on the grounds of the Student Center. The event runs from 11:30am to 2:30pm so make sure you come check it out. This is an event that you don’t want to miss.

H2O on the go: Filling up your cup


In case you haven’t heard, “2nd Nature”, the environmental club at Cumberland County College since 2012, has big goals for the future. The club members conjured the name “2nd Nature”, because they want environmentalism to become second nature to students on campus and everybody else in the community.  Through their work, they want to educate Cumberland as a whole on ways to help better the environment.

One of their most exciting goals is to buy retrofitted water bottle refilling stations that can be placed near our water fountains on campus. According to Club President, Cristina Crispin, “’Retrofitted water bottle refilling station’ is just a fancy way of saying a water fountain of filtered water that can fill water bottles more easily. We’re hoping this will lessen the consumption of disposable water bottles- and encourage people to use a reusable water bottle. Reusable water bottles both help the environment and save you money!” Also, many universities have recently been installing water bottle refilling stations.

At the recent “Pizza with the President” event, it was asked if installing water bottle refilling stations on campus could be taken into consideration. College President, Thomas Isekenegbe explained that he could see this happening in the future, after the prices of the systems themselves go down. Of course, 2nd Nature has been fundraising, in hopes to purchase one on their own. According to club advisor, Melissa Young, they have already raised half of the money it takes to purchase one.

Using a refillable water bottle is better for the environment, because so many disposable water bottles simply get thrown out. According to the EPA, in 2012, only nine percent of the plastic waste generated was actually recycled. Not only do water bottle refilling stations help the environment, they also save you money. Refilling a bottle is a lot cheaper than constantly buying a new one. According to Julianne Woodson, at George Mason University, “If you were to replace 200 bottles of water a year with free refillable water, it would amount to an annual savings of $300!” Water bottle refilling stations are also thoroughly filtered, so it’s safe to drink too.

Emily Velez, 2nd Nature’s Secretary, says “I think it’s (water bottle refilling stations) important because it’s healthier for everyone and will help cut down the amount of water bottles that don’t get recycled.”

2nd Nature is always in need of more members and volunteers. If you’re interested in getting involved, don’t hesitate to go to a meeting – every Monday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in room U112 (University Building). Again, Professor Melissa Young is the club advisor, and you can contact the President of the Club, Christina Crispin at to join the emailing list. You can also like their Facebook page, 2nd Nature to stay up to date with events. Other officers of the club are Sabrina Schroer, as Treasurer, and the spot of the Vice President is currently open, so if you’re interested in a leadership position, come on out!