Letter to the Editor: Arts Council needs more community involvement

Published 11:28 am Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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To the editor:

As a longstanding board member, I want to thank all of you who have provided community and financial support to the Davie County Arts Council. We recently held our annual fundraiser event (the first post COVID) and our attendees had a great time.  Our season sponsors and event patrons continue to provide much needed support. The vounty has been making updates and improvements to the Brock Performing Arts Center and we are grateful.

I first became involved as a volunteer with the arts council after moving to Mocksville in 2003. I will never forget helping with a Halloween contest and watching 78 children get up in front of the audience in the auditorium.  Each of them was passed a microphone so they could tell everyone (mostly friends, parents and family) what their costume character was. That night led me to more volunteer jobs and eventually becoming a board member. Over the years I have had the opportunity to work with Executive Director Sidniee Suggs and watch our fundraisers and season events help to fund the programs we provide for county children. In addition to our patrons and supporters, the county and Town of Mocksville have historically provided support via annual giving.

March is the highlight of the year (at least for me) with our “YAM Reception”.  YAM is a national event and stands for Youth Art Month. Our YAM is a month-long exhibit, which gives Davie’s three elementary school art teachers an opportunity to highlight their talented students from all six elementary schools.   Each teacher selects sixty to 80 pieces of art from grades K thru 5.  These dedicated teachers install the art in the Brock Gallery.  Just to see the art on display in the lobby and hallways of The Brock Performing Arts Center is spectacular.

In addition, the arts council hosts a reception to give an opportunity for the students and their families to view their “artist’s” work on display. Truly this one event brings people from all corners of our county together. (That is what art does.)  As a greeter at past YAM events, it amazes me how many of the folks who attend say “they have never been to an event at The Brock”.  (This same comment is also echoed by patrons at many of our season performances.)

We are looking for help in the way of citizens eager to join and work as members of the board of eirectors, especially those who have a passion for the arts. We are also looking for help from the community in funding future opportunities. Let’s remember, the community came together in a fund drive started in 1994 to transform a well used” school auditorium into a facility that would expand arts and preserve historical significance and sentimental value, while improving opportunities for expanding economic and industrial growth in the county. The result of that fundraising effort was a grand opening in 1998 of the Brock Performing Arts Center.

Here we are some 25 years later, with our  facility still in need of technology updates that would rival other county’s video and meeting space capabilities.  After a performance by North Carolina legend Doc Watson in 2010, he told the arts council that our facility “was the best listening room in the Triad.”  While we may never again capture the status of “the best listening room in the Triad,”  we still need your help to bring the facility up to those standards. Technology improvements would help us to capture more opportunities for event and meeting rentals, and with planning for more professional and community performances.

If you know anyone who has a passion for the arts”and may be interested in becoming a board member, or who would be willing to discuss possibilities for providing financial support, or know anyone who would like to volunteer their time to work at any of our events, please feel free to contact me or any of our board members.

Kim Strohacker, Facility Chair,

Davie County Arts Council