Beginning Friday, November 15, The Washington College Departments of Drama and Music will present the second annual “Festival of the Arts,” two free performances that will collect donations to benefit arts programming at nearby Garnett Elementary School. Operating under the theme “Fostering Creativity,” the Festival will collect voluntary donations (cash or checks made out to Washington College) at each event. “We are grateful for the way the community supports the arts at Washington College, and this fundraiser is one way to show our appreciation,” says music professor Jon McCollum, who organized the benefit.
Kicking off the Festival is a work-shopped stage reading of “The Triumph of Love and Reality Television,” a playwriting thesis by senior Rachel Fisher, directed by fellow senior Zach Weidner. Fisher describes her work as “a dark comedy about an independent reality television production company and the trials of its head writer as she makes a show about a dysfunctional family restaurant in New York City.” This show is for mature audiences only (it contains adult language, sexual references and drug use). It will be staged November 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. in Tawes Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts.
On December 5, the Music Department will present a joint concert by the W.C. Jazz Ensemble and the Symphonic Band. The free concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Hotchkiss Recital Hall of the Gibson Center for the Arts.
In its inaugural year, the WC Festival of the Arts raised more than $1,000 in cash and food donations for the Kent County Food Pantry. Professor McCollum says that selecting Garnett Elementary as this year’s recipient underscores the importance of arts in developing young minds. “Research proves that children need the arts,” he says. “Not only do they provide a means for creative expression, but the skills you develop when honing an art form spill over into nearly every discipline. Everything is connected. Finding a way to support children’s exposure to the arts can change their lives. We need to change the paradigm, where the arts are included not as something extra, but as something essential,” he adds. “By attending these performances and donating to support the arts at Garnett, people can impact young lives.”
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