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On same night in different venues, celebs Ed Kowalczyk, Jonah Lehrer delight York crowds

Ed Kowalczyk, York, Pa., native and member of the rock band Live, performed last night at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center in York. That same night, author Jonah Lehrer talked at York’s Martin Library about themes from his best-selling “How We Decide.” Also of interest: You maybe didn’t know it but … they’re from York County and Jonah Lehrer, author with York County ties, writes ‘precocious and engaging’ book and Cameron Mitchell, Craig Sheffer, Dixie Chick born here.

Two celebrities with local ties delighted audiences in York County last night.
Ed Kowalczyk, of Live, gave a well-received acoustic performance to a near-capacity audience at the Strand.
A couple of blocks away, New York Times best-selling author Jonah Lehrer engaged an enthusiastic audience in the Quiet Reading Room at Martin Library.
Now in his late 30s and pursuing a solo career, Kowalczyk grew up in York County, as did other members of Live. In the 1990s, the group gained international renown for the album “Throwing Copper” and made it to the cover of Rolling Stone… .

Best-selling author Jonah Lehrer spoke to a large gathering at Martin Library this week.
Lehrer’s mother, Jean Hively, grew up in York County, and Lehrer, an L.A. resident, still has close family members here. The 20-something Rhodes Scholar and author of “How We Decide” is enjoying best-selling status, and his work on scientific and social topics has been compared to that of Malcolm Gladwell, author of “The Tipping Point.”
Two celebrities. Two captivated audiences.
Why don’t we capitalize more on the numerous celebrities who grew up here or who have strong ties to this area?
These celebs could be used for fundraising.
They could be used to fuel bids for the National Folk Festival and other such recognitions.
Yet Kowalczyk has not performed here for five years.
Both Kowalczyk and Lehrer obviously enjoyed their appearances here.
Lehrer’s words of thanks to those attending his presentation at Martin was heartfelt. And his sponge-like audience would have kept asking questions much longer, but the hour was late.
The Cultural Alliance or some other arts organization needs to set up a series of such performances or appearances to highlight this talent. Or perhaps the Junior League could shift its approach from bringing in one outside luminary to sponsoring a series of celebs with local ties.
Here are some possible members of this series:
Pop artist Jeff Koons.
Actor Craig Sheffer.
Country music’s The Dixie Chicks (or at least the two members with local ties).
Bluegrass artist Del McCoury.
Oscar-winning costume designer Ann Roth.
Screen writer Laurice Elehwany.
The voice of “Law and Order” Steve Zirnkilton.
Playwright Ken Ludwig.
Author Rita Mae Brown.
The Drifters Charlie Thomas.
Local band The Magnificent Men.
U.S. Mint artist/engraver Don Everhart..
Composer Dominick Argento.
And, return appearances by Ed Kowalczyk and Jonah Lehrer.