The Grist - June 2021

June 4, 2021

Spotlight on Community Theater

Playwright J.B. Heaps fondly recalls the way his parents would take him to the theater as a kid. But it wasn’t until he started writing, 20 years later, that he understood the impact community theater has had on his life. 

In this special summer drama edition of The Grist, you will read about Heaps, one of the winners of the 2021 Emerging Playwright Competition, and everything else you need to know about the June 12th reading of the six winning plays.


3rd Annual Emerging Playwright Competition

Reading of Six Winning Plays
Saturday, June 12, 2021, 7 p.m.

Put on your tux or gown and crack the champagne! Or curl up in your cozy chair and sweatpants. Whichever way you choose, enjoy the plays from the safety and comfort of your home. After much deliberation about the lingering pandemic restrictions on live performances, the decision was made to present these six original works as virtual readings.

Support Phillips’ Mill Drama Program

We have missed producing live performances on the stage at our beloved Mill, something that has been a part of our history for more than 100 years. We look forward to the return of live events, but we need your support to make it happen.

With your support, we can continue to bring wonderful, community-based productions of original musical comedies and dramas to the Mill, featuring live music and original works by area talent, as well as summer programming for youth.

Please join the growing group of Phillips' Mill Drama supporters so that we can continue to bring this excellent programming to our community. Click here to make a donation.

Meet J.B. Heaps, one of the six playwrights whose short play will be read at the June 12th Reading.

1. He won five Emmy Awards. Heaps covered boxing as the executive producer of Showtime Sports, winning five national Emmy Awards for his work.

2. He was in the movie “Lord of the Flies.” Remember the kids running along the beach in the original 1963 film? One of them was a young J.B. Heaps.

3. He likes plays about writing — and writers. One of his earlier works, “Private Disclosures,” was not so loosely based around the mystery of “Answered Prayers,” an unfinished novel by Truman Capote exposing the scandalous lives of New York City socialites.

4. He likes Tall Women. Three of them, to be exact. Heaps considers Edward Albee’s “Three Tall Women,” with Dame Maggie Smith in the lead role, among the best he’s ever seen.

5. He has no patience for plotting out plots. When describing his writing process, he is not ashamed to point out that he lets things happen organically. “I have no idea where a plot will take me,” he says. He most admires writers whose storylines develop organically, such as Neil Simon.

Click here to read the full Artist Spotlight on J.B. Heaps.

The Artist’s Inspiration: Francisco Silva

Sunday, June 13, 5 to 6 p.m.

Artist Francisco Silva likes to paint scenes he observes around him, from people standing in food lines during the pandemic, to landscapes on the Appalachian Trail. One scene he recently painted that we are particularly partial to is, of course, the Phillips’ Mill.

Silva’s painting of the Mill won this year’s Phillips’ Mill Signature Image competition. Born in Lima, Peru, and raised in a Peruvian community in Kearney, NJ, Silva painted the 18th-century national historic landmark in the warm colors that reflect his roots and the calming spirit he finds in nature.

Silva joins ArtTalk to discuss how his work reflects current events expressed through scenes of the daily struggles of ordinary people. He’ll also describe how he uses his palette of colors to express and evoke emotion. Click here for more information and registration.

A Conversation with Csilla Sadloch

Sunday, June 27, 2021, 5 to 6 p.m.

Csilla Sadloch is an award-winning artist known for her large-scale graphite drawings of plant matter. Her works on paper and paintings have appeared in a multitude of solo shows, including at the Woodmere Art Museum, and both regional and national group shows.

Sadloch's paintings have won the Patron Award on three occasions for the Phillips' Mill Juried Art Show. She has been reviewed in numerous publications, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, Architectural Digest and the Washington Post.

She joins ArtTalk to discuss her work and inspirations. Click here for more information and registration.

Visual Arts
Francisco Silva, "Winter Shadows"

The 2021 Juried Art Show

September 25 — October 31, 2021

We are pleased to announce the jurors for the 2021 Juried Art Show.

Sculpture Jurors:


Graphics and Painting Jurors:

Please be sure to read the July issue of The Grist for more information about our esteemed jurors. We will also be continually updating our website with new information about the Art Show. Click here for more information.


Maintaining the Mill

As all can imagine, maintenance on our beloved Phillips’ Mill is an ongoing project. We would like to share with you a look at the way we use your generous contributions to preserve this historic treasure and community resource.

David Shenkle, our treasurer, shared our maintenance expenses for a recent fiscal year (6/30/19) and concluded that maintenance expenses for a year add up fast and come out to about $148.12 per day, 365 days a year.

In 2014, our preservation gala, Camp Phillips’ Mill, had a silent auction, and the proceeds of $10,823 were used for panels and a Walker Hanging System for use by the Art Show, the Photo Show and Youth Art.

In 2015, our preservation gala, Surf’s Up, had a cash appeal that paid for a new flame-retardant mechanical curtain for the stage at a cost of $12,165. Funds were also used for improvements to the upper and lower parking lots and new lighting and a new fence for $19,640.

In 2016, our preservation gala, Havana Nights, had a cash appeal that paid for the installation of Wi-Fi as well as bridge maintenance.

In 2017, our preservation gala, An Evening in Tuscany, had a cash appeal that paid for new LED lights on the second floor including fixtures, bulbs and installation for $4,768.88.

In 2018, our preservation gala, Garden Party, had a silent and live auction that netted $24,320 from artwork donated by the estate of Mary Ann Reeser, who had purchased the artwork from Phillips’ Mill over many years.

In 2019, our preservation gala’s 90th-anniversary event, A Roaring 20s Soiree, netted $26,651.59.

There have been numerous improvements to Phillips’ Mill over the years, such as new floors, new carpeting downstairs, window replacements, mildew control, a security system upgrade, work on the attic and interior painting. In 2000, a new furnace was installed for $14,599, a new septic tank for $12,786, and extensive floor work for $28,551. In 2001, $7,370 was spent on concrete and an entrance, and in 2002, new entryway doors were installed for $6,527. Our lovely walking bridge was installed in 2006 for $1,500, and we made a security system upgrade in 2017 for $2,568. 

These are just a few of the many upgrades made to maintain the building and grounds of Phillips’ Mill. 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have not been able to hold an annual gala since 2019. Yet, we have continued to offer quality programming and maintain our beloved Mill. It is only through fundraising activities, membership fees, sponsorships and donations that we can keep our mission alive. Thank you in advance for your continued support.

Member News

Phillips’ Mill Welcomes New Board Members!

Join us in welcoming the newest members of the Phillips' Mill Community Association Board, who shared the following with us:

Terri Epstein, Communications

"I am honored to be a member of the Phillips’ Mill board. Although a relatively new resident of Bucks County, I have long been in love with this area, and couldn’t be happier to make it my home and become involved in its history through my work with Phillips’ Mill.

When we moved to Lumberville two years ago, I was looking for an organization to get involved with, and Phillips’ Mill made it an easy choice. I attended a Michener Museum program offering a tour of the Phillips’ Mill 'enclave,' where I learned a lot about the Mill’s history. Inspired, I looked up the Phillips’ Mill website when I got home, became a member, and when I received my 'welcome packet,' saw various opportunities to volunteer. I checked the box and that January attended my first Art Committee meeting. So yes! Those questionnaires and welcome letters are valuable!

I’ve attended several Phillips’ Mill Art Exhibitions over the years, bought two pieces last year to commemorate my first year on the committee, and own a copy of the beautiful 75th anniversary book. (Can we start planning a 100th? I’m ready to work on that project!) The Mill’s rich history and venerable past continue to draw me in. I stand in the building and feel the presence of the founding artists and want to preserve both their space and spirit. I consider the many other creatives that made Bucks County their home –– the writers and musicians –– and feel the urge to establish programs in those areas at the Mill, as well.

I am happy to lend my writing, art and editorial skills to the PMCA board to help further the arts legacy of our very special world here in Bucks County. Thank you for welcoming me onto your team."

Mary Flamer

"My experience in the arts began as a child roaming through the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Before moving to New Hope, I served on the board of the New Jersey State Museum for over 20 years. After moving to New Hope, I sought to replace that experience and found the Mill. I’ve been fortunate to have served on the boards of the Mercer County Planned Parenthood and the Alan Guttmacher Institute. Assisting Episcopal church families in Costa Rica and El Salvador broadens my knowledge and experience of other cultures. I am pleased and honored to serve on the PMCA Board."

Jen McHugh

"I moved to the Bucks County area almost 30 years ago and immediately fell in love with the charm and natural beauty. My involvement with the arts started when I received a flyer recruiting volunteers for Art Goes to School, and I have never looked back. While I am not an artist, I am passionate about sharing the arts with the community, and especially with children. I expanded my involvement by becoming a volunteer, and later a docent, at the Michener Art Museum. I joined the Phillips' Mill Art Committee in 2017 at the urging of Cindy Ruenes. I jumped in with both feet last year during the pandemic when I received an e-mail soliciting help with social media and creating videos. I am looking forward to being part of the PMCA Board. I hope to honor the history of Phillips' Mill while also helping the Mill community grow and move into the future."

Bob Woodruff

"Greetings to all, and thanks for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Bob Woodruff, and I will be assuming responsibility as treasurer of PMCA effective July 1st. I have lived in Bucks County since the fall of 1973. I came here to work at the Rohm and Haas Company, a freshly minted PhD in chemistry, and brought with me a lot of enthusiasm for the quasi-rural lifestyle, but with a rich dose of urban accessibility — who could ask for better? It turned out to be even better than I had hoped. One of our first 'splurge' dinners as we explored the area was at The Inn at Phillips Mill, and the beauty of the tight little corner on River Road made it even more charming — and that was long before I had ever heard of the Phillips' Mill Community Association. Fast-forward nearly 50 years, and I have learned just what a lively arts community we enjoy here in Bucks County, and I am anxious to do whatever I can to build on our distinguished history here at Phillips' Mill. Linda and I look forward to meeting all of the members of PMCA, and to working with you to recognize and share the contributions of our members and exhibitors, and to develop the young artists who will be the next generation."


Photo of the Month

"Mustang on the Move" by Donna Lovely

Photo Committee member Donna D. Lovely is a fine artist and freelance photographer with an eye of a painter. Click here to view more of Donna's photography.

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Illustration of the Phillips' Mill -Artist: Kathie Jankauskus