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  Monday, April 21, 2014
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June 21, 2013
Medicine Wheel "Turns The Wheel" at Cyclorama
By Rick Winterson

“Turning the Wheel”, the 12th Annual Fundraiser for Medicine Wheel Productions, took place last Wednesday evening at the Cyclorama. If you haven’t been inside the Cyclorama, it is one of Boston’s most unusual buildings (and it really was a Civil War cyclorama once upon a time). Three hundred feet in circumference, it is a perfect venue for a large, eclectic event like “Turning the Wheel”.

The evening’s activities centered around a raffle wheel and elegant refreshments served up by Medicine Wheel patrons, who are (unfortunately) far too numerous to list here. The Medicine Wheel’s young artists exhibited their professional-looking posters, scrolls, and crafts along the circular walls of the Cyclorama.

Marshall Hughes, the Director of Performing Arts at Roxbury Community College, served as the evening’s emcee and gathered the crowd together. The KAIROS Dance Theater opened the program with an interpretive dance sequence. Michael Dowling, the Founder and Artistic Director of Medicine Wheel Productions, touchingly mentioned his father’s influence, as he briefed the crowd on Medicine Wheel’s 2013 activities.

Jack and Michele Hart were the evening’s gracious Host and Hostess. They spoke of the impact Medicine Wheel has had on the South Boston community. Michele Hart had worked at the High School for several years, and her memories of how No Man’s Land – the small park behind the High School – was created and developed by Medicine Wheel youth were especially vivid.

Each year, Medicine Wheel, a Native American term that connotes “harmony”, confers Medicine Man and Woman Awards on notable community supporters. The 2013 recipients were four in number: Cynthia Cohen, who directs ReCAST, Inc., a non-profit partnering with Brandeis and New Village Press; Shani Dowd, B.A., L.C.S.W., Director of Cultural InSight at the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation; Ed Merritt, President of Mt. Washington Bank, a subsidiary of East Boston Savings Bank; and H. Mark Smith, the “YouthReach” Program Manager at the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

The high point of the evening was an auction conducted by irrepressible Dan Flynn. South Boston Online has often commented on Auctioneer Flynn’s talent. Suffice to say that he combines a driving auction style with stand-up comedy, much to the delight of the crowd. Marshall Hughes closed the evening with “Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha”, a fitting piece for Hughes’ remarkable vocal range.
After “Turning the Wheel”, Michael Dowling expressed his appreciation for what he called, “An outpouring of support from the community’s corporate and individual sponsors.” “Turning the Wheel” was a significant event that attracted a large, eclectic group of people.

Be sure to watch for and attend Medicine Wheel’s Wednesday evening events on the Heights this summer. They are free and open to the public; they were a huge success last summer. This year, they begin on Wednesday, July 10, and occur every Wednesday after that, ending with “Beacon to the Dream” event on Wednesday evening, August 28.
Also, please reserve Thursday evening, June 27. Social Southie, that energetic group of young fundraisers, is holding a fete for Medicine Wheel at The Playwright on East Broadway. Social Southie’s events are always a lot of fun – don’t miss this one.

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