Organization looks to support arts

Thursday, March 21, 2002

There may just be good things ahead for the performing arts community in Saline County.

As you already know, area citizens are lucky to be able to choose form several options when looking for entertainment during the year. The Marshall Philharmonic, the Marshall Community Theatre, the talented and committed Marshall Community Chorus, and a variety of programs and recitals presented by area dance schools.

Still, despite the abundance and variety of cultural activities in the area, facilities for such events are hard to find. Several townships in mid-Missouri have procured old church buildings or schools to refurbish for use as theaters.

Over the past few years, numerous people have shown interest in working to form an organization with the purpose of locating funding for a local performing arts center.

According to materials being distributed by the Marshall Council for the Performing Arts, the group has two options. They can either look for funds to build a new state-of-the-art facility or they can apply for grants with which to refurbish an existing structure. No matter which road they decide to take, the first step will be to officially form the foundation.

At this point, the group is looking for 10 to 15 board members who would be willing to donate their time and resources to this venture. After the board is in place, more research will be done and then the organization will be opened for general membership.

Getting to that point is going to be a long, hard road, I suspect. However, those involved say they are excited about the journey.

In my opinion, an organization of this sort, and any related facility, would be a tremendous asset not only to Marshall, but for the entire Saline County area as well. Not that we don't love going to those great seasonal concerts presently held in church sanctuaries and at Bueker Middle School. But a place specifically designed to host such events would be an added jewel in the quality of life crown so often touted in Saline County.

An introductory meeting - a chance to mingle with those involved and to ask any questions you might have - is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., Friday, April 12, in the Community Room at Wood & Huston Bank. Your attendance would be greatly appreciated, I am sure.

For more information about this endeavor, please contact Angela Wells at (660) 831-1117, or Kelly Thompson at (660) 886-3911.

Hey, I wonder if we'll have to wear tuxedos to opening night or if blue jeans will suffice.

I guess we'll see.