Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

March 6, 2014

Chuck Mathena Center hires new director

PRINCETON — The Chuck Mathena Center has announced a new executive director. Princeton native Choskie Harmon will join the staff, just in time to help plan the 2014-2015 season.

Charlie Mathena, founder of the CMC, said the non-profit organization received more than two dozen applications. A committee reviewed the applications, set up interviews and then presented the finalists to the board.

“After time and consideration, Choskie was the unanimous choice,” Mathena said.

Harmon, a graduate of Princeton Senior High School and Concord University, has a background in the arts. He was a member of the PSHS Madrigal Singers and the first African American at PSHS to attend the Governor’s School for the Arts for vocal training. Harmon taught middle and high school English for six years, and most recently, theater at Bluefield High School.

Through his involvement with Princeton Dance Studio, Harmon is an award- winning choreographer. He has performed, choreographed and produced pageants for the Miss West Virginia’s Outstanding Teen and Miss West Virginia International. Under the direction of Janis Gunnoe, he has performed at the West Virginia Dance Festival in Charleston.

Mathena said Harmon’s background with bring new life to the CMC.

“I think he will bring a great presence to the community. He has a great rapport with young people. He is positive, up-lifting and creative. He thinks outside the box,” Mathena said.

Harmon is excited to become a part of the CMC family and present the arts to the two Virginias.

“I really look forward to serving the community that I have grown up, performed and worked in as the executive director at CMC,” Harmon said. “I was raised in this community and take pride in the fact that I have the same values and beliefs that people still hold important. In this new position, I look forward to continuing to bring quality entertainment and opportunities to our area as well exploring new possibilities to help the arts and our community.”

He would like to see the center grow with more visits, performers, educational events and more.

“The CMC is a place for growth. Every person that visits will grow in some way, whether it’s learning something new, becoming a better performer, forming new bonds or experiencing something for the first time.” Harmon said. “In order for a community to thrive, growth has to occur

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