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Rufus Woods

Publisher emeritus

Recently, I had the privilege of attending the Governor’s Arts and Heritage Awards and watch our valley’s Matt Cadman accept the honor for arts advocacy.

When Matt was executive director of the Numerica Performing Arts Center, he excelled at connecting the community with that wonderful facility and went to great lengths to find ways to make it a place for everyone. The vision he espoused of the theater as being “a community center with a stage” has never failed to inspire me.

Matt Cadman

Matt Cadman

His collaborative efforts with our schools led to developing the program “Every Kid at the PAC” that brought thousands of kids to the theater to experience a professional performance and engage with performers. Who knows how those seeds of inspiration will sprout in the minds of kids, many of whom would never have had the opportunity to experience the transformative power of the arts.

He also experimented with ways to bring performing arts to those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. His mind was constantly looking for ways to use the power of the arts to change lives.

I am exceedingly grateful that Alex Haley, the interim executive director at the PAC, and the board remain committed to carrying on this work. In a recent letter, the PAC board president honored Matt’s contributions as a key strength of the organization.

Matt, it was a thrill to be there along with several Wenatchee luminaries that included Sen. Brad Hawkins, who nominated you for this prestigious award. It was a night to remember.

Rufus Woods is the publisher emeritus of The Wenatchee World. He may be reached at rwoods@wenatcheeworld.com or 509-665-1162.