There is another important contributor to the Downingtown Fine Arts Festival happening on May 30th and 31st – the Downingtown Main Street Association. The DMSA is an all-volunteer group of civically-minded individuals looking to promote business in our borough and see the town off to a good start in the 21st century. We’re pooling our efforts to promote responsible change and to make Downingtown the art/cultural heartbeat of Chester County and, ultimately, all of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
I have been president of the DMSA for almost a year now and Steve Plaugher is the managing director. For those that don’t know me, I’m 6’3” tall, bald, olive skinned, brown eyed, slim as six o’clock (as they say in my former state of residence, Texas) with a supremely confident moustache. Steve Plaugher is around six foot high with a medium build – the body language he has developed over a lifetime of police work is, I would say, military. Usually a soft spoken guy, when things go south and turn into a “cluster” no one will jump into a tangled wad of confusion and straighten it out faster than Steve. Over many years of keeping things traveling smoothly in our borough, Steve knows just about everyone and everything in Downingtown.
On the other hand, I’m this old guy living down the street who paints pictures by himself in an old carriage house. Steve and I began our business relationship, not surprisingly, mutually perplexed with each other, but now we’re a great team. When I get wound up and start making a scene at our board meetings, Steve placidly waits until I’m done, then explains how it works.
The DMSA board of directors is made up of ambitious, tech-savvy entrepreneurs, most of them half my age. On occasion, this fact fills me with unease. I don’t know if they’re learning anything from me but I know I am learning a great deal from them. These 17 DMSA volunteers, incredibly busy with their own stuff, step up because they can. Not to be the cool kids at the table, but to be smarter, work harder and above all, run faster. All 2.5 square miles of the borough of Downingtown is the beneficiary and I am in awe of them.
Two things are for sure: It can be done! and Art will Happen!