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A Letter From President Anne Praino

October 31st, 2018


To our Coatesville Cultural Society Family,

With sadness, respect and reverence, we write to inform you of the passing of Bob Jones. On October 30th, a beautiful crisp morning complete with blue skies and a customary late autumn chill in the air, we lost our leader.  Bob had been ill, following a debilitating stroke which led to further complications including infection and atrophy, and ultimately his death. 

Most of you have been touched by or touched Bob in some way over the past 24 years.  His passion to bring the people together through the arts, a mission which he would pursue not only in his professional life, but his personal life as well served to be his true purpose. His calling. His drive. His work.  His charismatic and loving personality attracted so many and it was not long before we all recognized that he understood the only truly effective method towards healing our community.  And he did it the best way he knew how--through art.

Bob and Danny Fruchter, co-founders of the CCS, realized many years ago while traveling overseas how to bring people together who would normally never cross paths. And rather than sit on that idea, they worked together to make it come alive.  The Cultural Society was formed in the 90s, as some of you know.  Many of you certainly remember, having participated in those early gatherings, when our identity, our mission and our approach was created.  Never in our wildest imagination did we anticipate the growth and impact this organization would have--not only on our immediate community of Coatesville, but that the effect would reach across the ocean and touch kindred souls worldwide.  Bob had the vision, not only creatively, as he served as our artistic director since the very beginning, but he had an uncanny knack for recognizing what people need in terms of understanding, comfort and providing the freedom to speak candidly and still feel safe. 

We want to thank all of you for participating in Bob’s destiny.  Each and every evening that you chose to spend at the CCS, watching a performance, listening to poetry, playing chess or simply yearning for the conversation with strangers and friends all contributed to the manifestation of his mission.  Our future in light of this devastating loss is unclear.  Like you, we will mourn, regroup and find our way going forward.  Once we know how we intend to proceed—we will certainly let you--our extended family-- know.

On Saturday, November 3rd there will be a memorial gathering for Bob from 1-5 pm at Union Hall located at 750 Charles Street, Coatesville PA 19320. 

In love,

Anne Praino, President of the Board of Trustees

Danny Fruchter, Co-founder