‘AT HOME’: Berry’s ‘Nutcrackers’ now a JCA permanent collection

Published 8:13 pm Tuesday, December 10, 2019

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The late Susan Berry would be thrilled and honored to know that her collection of nutcrackers is now a permanent collection of the Johnson Center for the Arts.

Ginny Hamm, JCA docent, said it is right and good that Berry’s collection, which has brought delight and joy to children all across the county, is now “at home” at the Johnson Center.

For several years during the Christmas season, Berry, a retired kindergarten teacher in the Troy City School System, would bring a selection of her nutcrackers to the Johnson Center for display, Hamm said.

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“Susan would have the nutcrackers on display in the Tile Gallery and, when school groups visited the JCA, she would sit, surrounded by nutcrackers, and tell the story of ‘The Nutcracker’ to the children,” Hamm said. “Susan was a wonderful storyteller and, for many of the children, Susan’s story was the first time they heard of ‘The Nutcracker.’ Susan introduced countless numbers of children to that wonderful story and to the little wooden nutcrackers.

“Susan would be so happy to know that children are still seeing and being fascinated by the nutcrackers.”

The Johnson Center for the Arts is once again, featuring Susan Berry’s nutcracker collection at Christmastime.

The Tile Gallery is “alive” with nutcrackers from “The Nutcracker” ballet and a variety of other nutcrackers. All of the nutcrackers are from Susan Berry’s collection, with the exception of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Hamm said the Nutcracker display will be enjoyed by people of all ages and will be a memorial display to Susan Berry (Sue Bee) and a tribute to the children of Pike County who know and enjoy the story of “The Nutcracker’ and delight in the little wooden nutcrackers.

About 40 of Berry’s nutcrackers are on display at the JCA and another 20 are awaiting repair in the JCA hospital.  Some are missing a foot, a sword, etc. Volunteers are needed to repair the nutcrackers. Anyone who is interested is asked to call the JCA at 670-2287. 

The JCA is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and until 3 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free.