Big things could be happening for SCERA.

The group's president, Norm Nielsen, said the Sharon Cultural, Educational and Recreational Association is "at the threshold of the most exciting time in its 60-year history."There are two reasons for this, Nielsen said.

"The first is that we are within striking distance of providing the community with new facilities and programs which could possibly make this area the envy of cultural arts programs all over America," he said.

Nielsen was referring to plans for the expansion of what is now the SCERA Theater in Orem to include a $2.5 million cultural arts center.

"We have about $2 million now and as soon as we raise the other half million, we can begin," he said.

About $1 million of this will be earmarked for an endowment fund for the cultural arts.

"This much money would allow perpetual funding," Nielsen said. "This endowment fund means that there will not be one child in the area that could not take piano, dance, singing or art lessons if they wanted to."

Sidney Gilbert, chairman of SCERA's board of directors, said he doesn't see anything happening for at least a year, but things are moving steadily in the right direction.

According to Nielsen, the second reason is the schedule of events in the SCERA Shell for the summer of 1991. "It is the best schedule we have had to date," Nielsen said.

Robert Peterson will star as Don Quixote in the "Man of La Mancha," and local director Syd Riggs will stage "Into the Woods," a musical fairy-tale farce by Stephen Sondheim.

Gilbert said the Shell "provides a lot of opportunities for entertainment that the citizens of Orem didn't have before," and it will keep getting better.

And there are other reasons for the excitement.

About 60 people attended the SCERA's recent annual board meeting, and Nielsen said he thought that was the most interest ever shown.

"SCERA is getting more public and we are happy about that," he said. It was also the first time a challenger had run against a current board member and won a seat on the board.

According to Gilbert, this change in the board will not make a big difference, but new ideas are good.

SCERA is a good community program and "Norm Nielsen is a good man who is community-conscious and really wants to help people," Gilbert said.

SCERA was created in 1933 as a non-profit organization designed to promote the cultural, educational and recreational development of Orem residents.