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Fathers and sons

MAC poet celebrates dads at township’s Studio 67

Medford Arts Center poet Vince Dispenza celebrates Father’s Day with a solo performance, what he called a “dream come true.”

The Medford Arts Center’s poetry co-Chair Vince Dispenza presented a show at the township’s Studio 67 on June 11 that for the first time celebrated Father’s Day. 

The Father’s Day event – “Celebrating Dad” – not only honored dads but also raised funds for the arts center’s continued mission of education, evolution and empowerment through the arts.

During the night at Studio 67 – a performance space co-owned by the past president of the arts center Jeff Lucas – Dispenza shared his perspective on fatherhood and his relationship with his father through stories, lyrics and poetry. He noted that a program celebrating dads was a childhood dream.  

“This is something I’ve wanted to do for my whole life,” he noted. 

Also in the audience for the show were Dispenza’s brother Stephen and arts center Executive Director Lesha Moore.

“They’re the ones who truly inspired this,” Vince Dispenza said. “It was all around a pretty cool night,”

Dispenza noted that he took inspiration from poetry gatherings in which  members take elements of other people’s words to expand upon a theme. Lyrics he presented came from five songs that have dads as their theme, including “A Boy Named Sue,” by Johnny Cash; “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin; and “Father and Son,” by Cat Stevens.

“We used those five song lyrics along with some storytelling and some humor, and we created a journey of us celebrating dad,” said Dispenza, who lost his father in 2013, an event that inspired his performance.

The “Celebrating Dad” theme continued at the arts center on June 24 for  poetry gatherings hosted by Dispenza and co-Chair Naomi Dispenza. Among  poets cited were Shel Silverstein, Edgar Guest, Sandy Gaston and William Wordsworth.

For more information, visit https://www.medfordarts.com/

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