Advocacy Articles

October 29, 2014 - 10:42am PDT

Thank You for Your Service to Your Country: Hometown Heroes and the Arts

DAYTON, Ohio - The Dayton Development Coalition is expanding its Hometown Heroes program to include more arts programming thanks to a new partnership. The group is partnering with the Victoria Theatre Association to offer additional arts programming to local servicemen and their families.

As part of the partnership, VTA is offering free tickets to several of its programs, as well as a number of behind-the-scenes events. The program is another bid to thank service members but also is an economic push. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Springfield Air National Guard Base employ tens of thousands of people and Wright-Patt’s popularity was recently noted in the Air Force Times, which named it a top place for airmen. “We’re fortunate to have Wright-Patterson here,” Jeff Hoagland, president and CEO of Dayton Development Coalition, said. “They are the intellectual capital of the Air Force and they’re right here in Dayton.”

Hometown Heroes has featured a series of events to show appreciation for airmen, including tickets to Dayton Dragons games, NCAA First Four games, the Dayton Airshow and several other events.

“This is about making the arts experience available to more and more members of the Miami Valley Community,” said Ken Neufield, president and CEO of Victoria Theatre Association and The Arts Center Foundation, “The collaboration allows us to expand the reach of the many programs that improve the quality of life here in the area.” Among the shows VTA will provide tickets for will be:

The Wright Stuff: First In Flight, Oct. 31 at The National Museum of the United States Air Force;

Joe Tartaglia’s Imaginocean, Nov. 1 at Victoria Theatre;

Smokey Joe’s Cafe featuring The Coasters, Nov. 12 at Victoria Theatre;

Juice Box Jams with Big Bang Boom, Jan. 23-24, 2015 at Victoria Theatre;

Nice Work if you can Get It, Feb. 11, 2015 at Schuster Center;

Letters Home, April 24, 2015 at Victoria Theatre; and

Wicked, April 29, 2015 at Schuster Center.

Wright-Patt’s economic impact, with 27,500 employees, is a focus of the DDC in coming years as federal budget cuts could force nationwide base realignments and job reductions in the Air Force. “It really strikes me how welcoming the Miami Valley Community is of the military installation,” said Col. John Devillier, commander of the 88th Air Base Wing, “That people say thank you for what we do for our country means a whole lot.”

-- Dayton Business Journal