Local arts groups promote artists, cultural events, enhance area liveability

Arts Orgs

Top, Friends of the Arts founder Gigi Allen — left, with member Audrey Milcarek and president Rae Schwartz —says she would like to see Crestview High School's jazz band perform a concert to raise funds for new uniforms. Bottom, Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce Arts, Culture and Entertainment Committee chairwoman Karen Hardell — center, with committee members Rae Roberson and Rae Schwartz — says that "the arts give people a reason to come to Crestview, stay in Crestview and spend their money here, and to give residents who have an ability and passion a chance to express it."

BRIAN HUGHES / News Bulletin
Published: Monday, August 18, 2014 at 12:02 PM.

CRESTVIEW — A night of big band music, a renowned stage drama, support for area visual and performing artists, art in local businesses and strengthening the arts community from within are among the goals of the three major local arts organizations.

All welcome input from North Okaloosa artists and art lovers at their monthly meetings.

ARTS, CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT COMMITTEE

The Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce Arts, Culture and Entertainment Committee — the “entertainment” component is new this year —facilitates linking the arts and business communities.

“We have no high-profile mission, but we support all the art and culture activities we do have around Crestview,” committee chairwoman Karen Hardell said.

“There are a lot of people like me who value and love the arts but don’t have any artistic ability, but we want to see it flourish. This is an opportunity to support that.”

The committee was formed to enhance economic development and quality of life, Hardell said.

“The arts give people a reason to come to Crestview, stay in Crestview and spend their money here, and to give residents who have an ability and passion a chance to express it,” she said.

The committee also actively promotes the chamber’s events calendar, the only communitywide events listing, which is open to any organization and accessible to any resident.

FRIENDS OF THE ARTS

Friends of the Arts President Rae Schwartz said while also supporting area cultural and arts events, the Friends of the Arts’ primary mission is to hold several annual events at Warriors Hall in Crestview.

Volunteers use proceeds to maintain the grand piano the group obtained for the facility.

Friends founder and first president Gigi Allen announced at their August meeting a fall concert featuring Downbeat Jazz Orchestra, resident Dick Reinlie’s big band.

Allen said she and her husband, Bob, are discussing with Crestview High School band director Jody Dunn a jazz band concert. While supporting Warriors Hall, it would also help the band raise funds for new uniforms.

“The band is a real community asset,” Gigi Allen said.

View From the Stage, the community theatre troupe, has a seat on the Friends of the Arts. Its president, Berit Faust, says a fall production of the courtroom drama “Twelve Angry Men,” is under consideration.

NORTH OKALOOSA ARTISTS

The revived area artists’ guild is a creative forum where visual artists gather to share ideas and techniques.

Monthly demonstrations and show-and-shares get artists’ creative juices flowing, and help one another develop skills in various media, organizer Mary Richardson said.

The guild, formed earlier this year, is still settling on a regular meeting time, day and place that best suits its members.

“Artists are encouraged to bring an art project for show-and-share, a new art book, samples of what they've been up to over the summer, and information regarding upcoming shows,” Richardson said.

WANT TO GO?

WHAT: Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce Arts, Culture and Entertainment Committee monthly meeting

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. second Monday each month

WHERE: Chamber of Commerce Building, 1447 Commerce Drive, across from the Crestview Public Library

NOTES: Meetings are open to any chamber member; guests are welcome

 

WHAT: Crestview Friends of the Arts

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. first Tuesday of each month

WHERE: Library main meeting room, Crestview Public Library, 1445 Commerce Drive, behind the post office

NOTES: Meetings and input encouraged from any north Okaloosa County visual or performing artists or art lovers

 

WHAT: North Okaloosa Artists

WHEN: 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., Sept. 4

WHERE: First Baptist Church of Garden City, State Road 85 at Haskell-Langley Road, 2 minutes north of Winn-Dixie

NOTES: Bring an art project for show-and-share, a new art book or samples of summer work. Contact Mary Richardson, maryj19mr46@embarqmail.com, for details

Email News Bulletin Arts Editor Brian Hughes, follow him on Twitter or call 850-682-6524.

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