Community Arts Council needs warm bodies, dollars



The Community Arts Council of Blount County will meet next on Monday, Oct. 18, at 6 p.m. at Memorial Museum, and they’re calling all arts lovers to join them. That’s all people who love the arts, and people who love all the arts. It’s OK to love some more than others, according to council treasurer Carol Lewey.

“We need new members who love the arts, who like working in the arts, and who will be able to donate their time to help us with the activities and events we bring here,” Lewey said. “We need not only people who can offer physical help but also those with imagination and vision as to make the arts in Blount County more abundant and stimulating.”

Since 2001, the Community Arts Council has chalked up a remarkable record of performances: the Alabama Symphony; the world-traveled Shanghai Quartet (twice); the Birmingham Sunlights R&B vocal quintet; Birmingham Boys Choir; Always… Patsy Cline,
with an all-Blount County cast that debuted in Blount County and was suitcased to two other counties; Missoula Childrens Theater, with sessions in both Hayden and Oneonta over the past several years, and many other exciting events featuring both local talent and established artists from afar.

Above: Alabama Symphony; below: Birmingham Sunlights

Above: Alabama Symphony; below: Birmingham Sunlights

Next year’s program will be on the agenda for discussion at the next meeting. Several events are already lined up, but others are yet to be determined, Lewey said. Events already on the “playbill” include a violin recital by Elizabeth Franks, the Pied Pipers of Harding University, an improvisational theater troup of college students who rhyme and mime drama for children, to perform at city and county schools; Missoula Children’s Theater (for the 11th time); the fifth annual children’s art camp, and a Young Artists’ Concert, featuring all local talent for next fall.

“We don’t have a ‘big’ event planned as yet, but we have several we are thinking about. We’d like to know what the people in the community would like us to bring here. In fact, that’s another reason we need more participation in the council itself, to get a cross-section of preferences from around the county as to what kind of program people feel they need from their community arts council,” she said.

Lewey said help is needed for fundraising to support the program. “These big events like the Alabama Symphony and other outside artists don’t come cheap,” Lewey said.

“We get grants from time to time, but we have to match them with local funds. We still have to be able to raise money locally. That’s another reason having membership from across the county helps. We can draw from a larger population for contributions, and of course, we try to spread performances and other activities around the county as well. That’s another thing that’s on our meeting agenda; we need to have a fundraising drive soon in order to support whatever ‘big’ event we decide to go for next year. So, Blount County please be generous when the contribution request arrives, and we’ll all benefit from it and thank you for it,” she said.