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Arts Ball coming soon

One of the social events of the year will be taking place soon, and in 2020 the event will feature a band that has a big following among local fans.

The Surry Arts Council will be holding its annual Arts Ball on Feb. 21, at Cross Creek Country Club, featuring the popular Band of Oz as the chief entertainment.

The Arts Ball is an important part of the Surry Arts Council’s annual fundraising efforts, with the money set aside for a specific use.

“All of the proceeds from the Arts Ball fund our school arts programs,” said Melissa Sumner, special events coordinator. The annual ball raises about $30,000 per year toward that effort.

“We work with Surry County Schools, Mount Airy City Schools, and Millennium Charter Academy to ensure that the programs that we bring are high quality and relevant to their goals, grade level and curriculum,” Sumner said. “This year, more than 10,000 students have attended at least one program at the Andy Griffith Playhouse and Historic Earle Theatre as well as having arts programs visit their schools.”

Sumner said that many students will have the opportunity to attend two or three different programs.

“This year we have a wide variety of shows by outstanding artists and educators,” she said.

ArtsPower National Touring Theatre brought “The Little Engine that Could Earns Her Whistle,” New York Ballet for Young Audiences returned with “The Nutcracker,” A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute of the UNC School of the Arts is booked for “The Three Billy Goats Gruff,” BALLET MAGNIFICAT! brought “Deliver Us!” and Mike Wiley will return with “Fire of Freedom.” In addition, the Surry Arts Council produced “The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Abridged” and “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”

An evaluation for “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” stated: “We have all agreed that this is, by far, the best program we’ve seen at the Andy Griffith Playhouse. Our students were very entertained and engaged. The actors were amazing. … We would love to make this a regular visit for our fourth grade during the holidays.” Another added, “We were able to read the novel that went along with it and made great connections.”

The second Surry Arts Film Festival is currently accepting submissions from students in grades 9-12. The Film Festival will be Tuesday, April 14, at 7 p.m. at the Historic Earle Theatre.

“Last year we had 12 submissions,” Sumner reported. “It was a great success for our first year, and we’re excited to improve upon it this year.”

The Surry Arts Film Festival is an opportunity for students to showcase their original films in an historic professional theater. “It’s also a chance for the community to see several films by local youth all in one evening,” Sumner said, “and it gives the filmmakers and audience a chance to talk with one another.”

While raising $30,000 is a lofty achievement by itself, Summer said the money actually can have a multiplying effect. She explained that funds raised for school programs are also used as leverage for grants from other entities.

One such grant from the North Carolina Arts Council supports TAPS, or Traditional Arts Programs in Schools. This effort takes music and instruments into the schools, first, and then continues with year-round stringed instrument and old-time dance lessons at the Historic Earle Theatre. The lessons are held each Thursday and focus on introducing children in grades four through eight to traditional string instruments.

In addition, TAPS students and their families are given the opportunity to attend select traditional music concerts at the Historic Earle Theatre at no charge.

“Involvement in the arts has been proven to improve academic performance, increase self-esteem and self-worth, and provide a means of expression and communication,” Sumner said. “We want to encourage kids to take an active role in the arts and we attempt to engage them in multiple ways. Our partnerships with the schools help us reach as many kids as possible.”

More than 400 items were auctioned at last year’s Arts Ball, and more than 250 people attended. Staff, school personnel, and many volunteers have been collecting items in preparation for the event, and Sumner expects to have a wide selection of items this year.

“We will always take more, of course,” Sumner added.

Anyone interested in donating should contact her at 336-786-7998 or melissa@surryarts.org.

The Arts Ball optional preview bidding is from noon until 5 p.m., and doors open at 6 p.m. on the day of the event. Hors d’oeuvres are passed at 6:15 p.m., soup is passed at 7:30 p.m., and the seated dinner is at 8 p.m. The silent auction also ends at 8 p.m. Dinner is followed by dancing and live music by the Band of Oz.

“We welcome everyone,” Sumner said. “It’s a wonderful evening for those who attend and a great way to ensure the arts remain a part of the lives and education of the children in Surry County.”

Tickets are $75 and can be purchased online www.surryarts.org, by phone at 336-786-7998 or at the Surry Arts Council office at 218 Rockford St. during regular business hours.

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Cross Creek Country Club is usually packed for the annual Surry Arts Council Arts Ball, and this year’s event promises to be no different. The event is set for Feb. 21, with all proceeds going toward the council’s school arts programs.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/web1_artsball.jpgCross Creek Country Club is usually packed for the annual Surry Arts Council Arts Ball, and this year’s event promises to be no different. The event is set for Feb. 21, with all proceeds going toward the council’s school arts programs. Courtesy Hobart Jones

The Band of Oz, a favorite among local and regional fans, will be on hand at the Surry Arts Council’s Arts Ball, providing entertainment for those attending the dinner and dance.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/web1_BandofOzArtsBall.jpgThe Band of Oz, a favorite among local and regional fans, will be on hand at the Surry Arts Council’s Arts Ball, providing entertainment for those attending the dinner and dance. Courtesy Hobart Jones
Event raises money for school programs

Staff report

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Source: https://www.mtairynews.com

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