CHHS theater receives art council donation

Published 3:00 am Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving is a time for giving and, for the Troy Arts Council, it’s also a time for giving back.

On Monday, Betty Wagoner, TAC treasurer, presented a check to Judith Park, Charles Henderson High School drama teacher, which will help fund travel to drama competitions for the CHHS students.

“We greatly appreciate the donation from the Troy Arts Council,” Park said. “It helps us financially and it is also encouraging to know that we have the support of the Troy Arts Council.”

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Wagoner said the TAC supports the arts programs in the schools of Pike County throughout the year.

“It has always been a goal of the TAC to support the arts in the community and that includes our schools,” she said. “Each school year, the TAC invites teachers in the arts programs to write mini-grants. One year, we fund visual arts grants and the next year we fund music grants.”

This year, the TAC funded mini-grants in the amount of $300 to certified art teachers in the county. The funds will be used to purchase classroom supplies. Next year, the mini-grants will be offered to music teachers at all schools on all levels.

“The TAC believes that, if our young people are not exposed to the arts and don’t learn to appreciate them, then the arts will not flourish in our community,” Wagoner said. “That’s why we want to support the teachers and programs that support the arts. We want to give back to them.”

The TAC not only supports the arts programs in the schools, it also supports the arts throughout the schools.

The Troy Arts Council brings a variety of performing arts programs to Troy each year. This year’s calendar included Vivace Music Group and the Harlem String Quartet and both groups performed at schools within the county.

“Whenever it’s possible, we contract with the performers to do a program in one or more of the schools,” Wagoner said. “We want our students to be exposed to the performing arts and are always excited when we can offer these programs in the schools.”

Student tickets for all events on the TAC Season Calendar are $5 in an effort to make the events affordable students and for families.

“Bringing these performing artists to Troy is costly,” Wagoner said. “The fees usually begin at $4,000 and we also have to provide lodging and meals. So, we depend greatly on our corporate sponsorships and our patrons’ support and donations to bring these high-quality performances to Troy.”

The Troy Arts Council was organized in 1972 after Wagoner and the Jerry Spann participated in the federally funded IMPACT program.

“Five school systems in the nation were invited to participate in the program and Troy City was one of the five,” Wagoner said. “The program was designed to integrate the arts into the curriculum. We realized then how important the arts are to our schools and our children. Our dream was to make the arts a vital part of the Troy City Schools and our city fathers gave us $3,000 to get the arts program underway. The Alabama State Council on the Arts was also instrumental in getting the arts program started and keeping it going.”

The TAC continues to support the arts in the local schools and in the Troy and Pike County communities.