Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

UP: To the expansion of the ArtCart program to three more Wood County schools next month. The program, administered by Artsbridge, funded through the Spartan Foundation and Artsbridge, and for which Kate Esbenshade Hushion serves as the artistic director, provides art classes once a week for fourth-graders, for 20-24 weeks. The program pays for supplies and instructors, and students get the benefits of an arts education.

UP: To the Jackson Middle School FOR Club, which is planning its first targeted act of kindness in October. “They thought it would be nice to host a ‘Trunk-or-Treat’ to provide a safe place for parents to bring their children” during the Halloween season, said Jackson Middle School teacher Cherish George. If the group’s mission is to start a chain reaction of kindness, they appear to be well on their way.

UP: To Pastry and Petals, LLC, winner of this year’s Launchpad Pitch Competition. Owner Kay Mullenix said she plans to use the $5,000 prize to expand her Cairo business, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and “If you are a rail and trailer, I’m the last stop for 26 miles.”

UP: To Lawrence Loh, the new musical director and conductor for the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Loh and the symphony will begin the 30th anniversary season for WVSO-Parkersburg with a concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at Blennerhassett School.