A record turnout helped the Surry Arts Council raise more than $35,000 during its annual Arts Ball held earlier this month at Cross Creek Country Club. The ball featured a silent auction, passed canapes and soup, a seated dinner, and dancing to the live music of the Band of Oz.
The Mardi Gras theme was present throughout the club. Centerpieces were provided by Airmont Florist, Cana Mount Airy Florist, and Creative Design Flowers. These were available for purchase in the silent auction. Melissa Sumner, coordinator of the Arts Ball, worked with a committee of volunteers from schools, the Surry Arts Council Staff and Board, and the community.
The auction had hundreds of items. The meals hosted in the homes of local chefs were among the most popular items along with vacation condos and homes. Schools donated items built in classes including a porch swing and Adirondack chairs. Baskets ranged from movie night themes to a lottery ticket basket to sports-themed baskets. Clothing, jewelry, home baked items, and many gift cards were among the items purchased.
A photo booth provided by Ish & Ash Productions provided another fun opportunity for guests. There was a line at the booth throughout the evening.
Proceeds from the arts program goes toward taking arts programming to area school children and youth. This year, thousands of students have already enjoyed arts programming provided by the fundraising from the Arts Ball last year.
In addition to directly paying for arts programs, the arts ball proceeds leverage grants from Chorus America, the North Carolina Arts Council, and South Arts. Students receive free arts programs in their own schools and have the opportunity to bus to the Blackmon Amphitheatre, the Historic Earle Theatre, and the Andy Griffith Playhouse. Students also have field trips to the Andy Griffith Museum, the Old-Time Music Heritage Hall, and the Siamese Twins Exhibit at no cost. These field trips include guided tours, scavenger hunts, and music.
The Surry Arts Council provides its venues to the schools for holiday and year-end choral and band programs at no cost to the schools. The Surry Arts Council also works with schools to host interns, provide art instruction in both in-school and after-school programs, in summer programs, and through many other partnerships.
Photos courtesy of Robbie Curlee and Kenny Hooker can be found on the Surry Arts Council website www.surryarts.org.
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