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Silent Rise Review

  • Title: Silent Rise: A City, the Arts, and a Blue-Collar Kid (ARC)
  • Author: Rick H. Jones
  • ARC -Online copy
  • Page #: 350
  • Genres: Nonfiction, Autobiography, Arts & Crafts
  • Release date: June 9, 2021
  • Publisher: Foggy Mountain press
  • My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

* I was given an Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of this book by the author but all opinions are my own.*

** This post may contain spoilers **


The city of Hamilton, Ohio, hoped to reverse the repeating cycle of economic decline, educational stagnancy, and social inequities, but only a few thought the arts could make any difference.

A blue-collar kid understands hard work. He also knows how to complete a task. When that kid decides to make his life in the arts, in the dichotomy of blue-collar and arts, he understands that “fine arts” will not be enough and will not be the best way to reach the ends his community hopes to achieve. He also knew that if success was to be had, the arts would have to be broadly defined as they were introduced to the public.

Hamilton was at the threshold of the town’s bicentennial; a cultural plan increased their hope. they listened to the people and decided to build a community arts center. Would this courageous-and many thought dubious-decision work?

This memoir by the man who was brought to town to lead this twenty-five-year journey shows how a struggling city utilized the arts to ignite the renaissance the city is now experiencing. This story of transformation and hope is an honest and straight-forward account of what is required to lead with authenticity and achieve amazing results.


I was raised in a blue collar household that valued the public arts. Neither of my parents would be considered an artist in the conventional sense but they both held jobs that needed an artistic mind. My mom was a teacher to a variety of very young minds, she spent her time creating fun ways of teaching things that didn’t want to be learned. My dad was a contractor so he spent his days creating things that make our day-to-day living more beautiful, he turned things like wood and stone into things we want to look at everyday. And because their artistic side was encouraged daily they passed that encouragement on to my sisters and me.

My childhood experiences of art gave me a real understanding of what Mr. Jones was facing during the 25-years he worked in Hamilton. I found that the reason I kept reading wasn’t because I wanted to know how it ended, I was turning the page because it was nice to read about someone who saw art the way I did. This is a book about sharing art with everyone because everyone is entitled to art.

This book does a wonderful job of showing what the arts are truly capable of, but I believe they can do even more if they were given even more support from those higher up. I definitely enjoyed this book and I encourage anyone looking for a non-fiction read to consider Silent Rise as the next book they read, it’s got community and the arts coming together in a very meaningful way that is hard to find in this modern world of ours.

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