Silvia Gonzalez Scherer has lived in areas where downtowns have fallen to the wayside. While participating as a Chicago artist, Silvia assisted in the revitalization of several areas in Chicago by participating in artist-led activities. The activities enticed people to these areas to observe the arts which soon became a gateway for businesses. Thus, increasing the vitality of the surrounding areas.
From 2011-2015, Silvia watched the downtown of Hanford experience the same slow demise she witnessed in Chicago. Determined to see the end of this, she contacted newspaper reporters and the Chamber of Commerce to off the suggestion that the arts can revive downtown Hanford. After a meeting with Mike Bertaina, the then Director of the Chamber of Commerce, permission was granted to offer free acting classes in Hanford.
In January of 2017, classes were held at the upper level of the Old Historical Courthouse. Classes were held at this location weekly for both children and adults until March 2017 when classes were moved to the Hanford Civic Center with assistance with the Hanford Parks and Recreation. Hanford Parks and Recreation saw the value of such activity in the downtown area and for the people in the community.
The HMTC classes produced an improv group that did a performance during Hanford’s Farmer’s Market Street Event. For some acting students, this was their first performance ever. Recognizing the need for fundraising, the HMTC group undertook the massive function of doing a Dia de Los Muertos community activity. This was a tremendous success and now is an annual event. HMTC also participated in the Hanford Christmas Parade with help from Disney and Pixar. Disney FedEx to HMTC promotional bags from their new animated film “Coco” to give to parade viewers.
Continuing the momentum, HMTC is in the planning stages of Hanford’s first ever Monologue Slam. Plans are underway to making this a successful area-wide event set to take place in February 2018.