CCAC Announces Upcoming Schedule

Thursday, July 21, 2016
Board members on hand for the CCAC planning session included, from left: Jane Gatewood, Tracy Cole, John James, Cathy Norred and Linda Robinson. Not pictured were Gail Burns and Lisa Jett. (courtesy photo)

Members of the Clay County Arts Council board of directors met Saturday, July 16, and outlined the organization's activities for the coming year. The board also reviewed the CCAC vision and mission statements, appointed chairs for the various events and efforts and planned a membership drive. Meetings for the remainder of the year were also scheduled.

CCAC board members Gail Burns, Jane Gatewood, Cathy Norred, John James, Tracy Cole and Linda Robinson were on hand for the gathering, held at the Inn at Piggott. Unable to attend was board member Lisa Jett.

The first order of business was to review and discuss the group's vision and mission statements, and reach a consesus.

The statement notes the CCAC will serve to promote and appreciate the arts, creating a culture of possibilities. This will be accomplished by providing art scholarships for college and art programs and providing support for local educational arts program, in an effort to enrich the quality of life in Clay County, and the community-at-large, through varied arts programming.

During the gathering the board also set the dates for the coming season, including a membership drive set to begin Sept. 1.

The future of the fashion show was discussed, and the board determined efforts should move toward more music programming, along with the silent auction and dinner. The board also indicated it should be held on a Friday or Saturday, to avoid conflicts with sports, and discussed what venue should be used.

Board members decided to hold the annual Christmas Open House once again in early December, at the Sugar Creek Country Club. Feeling the event had a positive outcome last year, they also discussed adding the element of Christmas music.

Issues with the annual Night of Chocolate Dinner Theater event were also reviewed, and the board members determined sweeping changes were needed. Following the discussion it was determined the cast of the play was to be limited to five to seven actors, and the event will be held in mid-Febuary.

The annual student art show will be rotated among the three school districts in the county in the future, and would be set with spring break and testing in mind. This year it will be held in March at the Piggott Community Center. The board also agreed to continue sponsoring the giant puppet shows, and would be working in combination with the Mississippi County Arts Council on the effort. They're slated for April of next year, with the date to be determined.

The annual Celebration of the Arts will also be returning in the coming year, but will emphasize honoring the CCAC sponsors rather than individual contributors in the future. It will be held in June of 2017.

Board members also discussed the annual scholarship effort, and whether the amounts should be raised to $2,500. Supporting adults who have chosen to return to school to obtain certification in drama was also discussed.

The board also discussed art programs in schools, and noted teachers should be able to write a proposal to the CCAC to gain funding in support of the arts, such as trips to see a play or bring in a performer.

It was determined that Burns would set up a meeting with the leadership of each of the three school districts, and along with two others of the CCAC members, would review the opportunities.

Robinson also presented the board with the opportunity to engage the talents of Vicki Bishop, who, along with her band does a Patsy Cline tribute act. The show was earmarked for an upcoming country-themed musical show to celebrate the White Gold Harvest Celebration. "White Gold" refers to cotton, corn and other crops. The event will likely be held at the Piggott Community Center in late October.

The next meeting of the CCAC board of directors will be held Thursday, Aug. 11 at Rector. Those interested in joining, or obtaining more information about the CCAC, may contact any of the board members.

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