Silvia Gonzalez Scherer has lived in areas where downtowns have fallen to the wayside. While participating as a Chicago artist (under pen name Silvia Gonzalez S.), 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 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, Silvia and her daughter Camia Scherer organized the first free acting classes at the upper level of the Old Historical Courthouse. Classes were held at this location weekly for both children and adults. Interest grew quickly and mother and daughter polished the mission of Hanford Multicultural Theater Company and applied for nonprofit status. With the guidance of Lilia Chavez from Fresno Arts Council, HMTC started to grow leaps and bounds. People of all walks of life became involved and wanted to see HMTC become bigger. The need was there. Acting classes, scene study, improv instruction--which led to the the origins of an improvisation group--began to flourish with the interest. In March 2017 classes were moved to the Hanford Civic Center with assistance of 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.
Silvia created Uddery Improv with talent discovered and cultivated in the HMTC acting classes. First performance of the group was at the Hanford's Farmer's Market Street. For many in the group, this was their first performance ever. Now Udderly Improv has grown to a city-wide comedy troupe with Hanford-bred super stars performing in locations in Hanford and beyond, most recently in Kettleman City, California. So far, five superb Udderly Improv shows have taken place at the Hanford Carnegie Museum after museum hours.
Recognizing the need for fundraising, the HMTC group undertook the massive function of doing a Dia de Los Muertos community activity in 2017. This was a tremendous success and now is an annual event called HANFORD DIA DE LOS MUERTOS. Hanford Multicultural Theater Company 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 planned Hanford's first ever Monologue Slam in 2018 and this summer will celebrate the second Annual Hanford Monologue Slam 2019.
Join us, and support us. We need you.