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Cultural Alliance discusses Arts & The Park, upcoming events

by Elisha Morrison | July 20, 2016 at 4:00 a.m.
The Sentinel-Record/Elisha Morrison ARTS COMMUNITY: Mary Neilson, Cultural Affairs manager for Visit Hot Springs, led the Hot Springs Area Cultural Alliance meeting at the Pocket Theatre Monday.

Members of the local arts community met Monday to discuss upcoming, ongoing and past events in the community in an attempt to share ideas and make improvements in what's being offered.

The Hot Springs Area Cultural Alliance quarterly arts networking meeting was held at the Pocket Community Theatre and led by Mary Neilson, Cultural Affairs manager for Visit Hot Springs, and Kate Schaffer, board chair for the Cultural Alliance.

They started off the meeting with a discussion about Arts & the Park and what improvements can be made to make next year's event, scheduled for April 28-May 7, an even greater success. Specifically, they discussed ideas for the two day festival, Art Springs, which Neilson said attracted approximately 3,100 visitors and featured a variety of artists. The organizers hope to grow the festival to include more visiting artists while featuring local offerings.

They also discussed the Cultural Alliance website, http://hotspringsarts.org, which they hope to eventually make a community arts calendar for all arts events in the area. Neilson and Schaffer encouraged the artists to register with the site so they can create a directory of all artists in the Hot Springs area.

Kai Coggin, a poet, author and teaching artist at Emergent Arts, told the group about two events: A Creative Writing Camp for children, ages 13 and up, that has started and will continue through Friday, and No Kids Allowed Adult Summer Camp, Summer Words & Wine, a poetry and wine event, being held from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesdays through the end of July at Emergent Arts, located at 341 Whittington Ave.

Jerri Hillis, board president of Emergent Arts and a teaching artist, spoke about other events at Emergent Arts, including Happy Hour Hafla, Drink-N-Draw Figure Drawing and Plein Air Painting, held from 6-8 p.m. on Thursdays; and two Saturday workshops a Plein Aire painting event on Aug. 6, and a Block Printing on Fabrics event on Aug. 13, both from 1-4 p.m.

An ice cream social, the organizations annual fundraiser, is scheduled for 3 p.m. Aug. 23. Ceramic bowls created and painted by students will be on sale. Emergent Arts will also have classes in fall for both youth and adults.

Bill Sollender, founder and former executive director of Low Key Arts, announced his transition from Low Key to his new role as special events manager at Visit Hot Springs. He introduced Bobby Missile, the new artistic program director for Low Key Arts, and David Hill, the new executive director.

Sollender also spoke about the upcoming Spa Con, Sept. 23-25.

Edmond Cooper, artistic director and president of the Hot Springs Children's Dance Theatre, said this year's production of the Nutcracker is scheduled for Nov. 25-27, and Dec. 2-4.

Ernie Hinz, president and executive director of the Faces Foundation, said they are looking for organizations and businesses to take part in Oktoberfest, scheduled for Oct. 14-15. The event serves as the major fundraiser for the foundation, which provides facial surgery and reconstruction to those in need of them who may not be able to pay. They require the recipients to "pay it forward" by putting in volunteer hours.

Neilson announced the Cutwell 4 Kids upcoming fundraiser, "The Birth of an Artist" Art Sale and Reception, which will be from 7-10 p.m. Aug. 13, in the Hot Springs Convention Center Grand Lobby. Cutwell 4 Kids provides a free art event for children the first Saturday of each month from 2-4 p.m. in the Maurice Bath House.

The Pocket Community Theatre's production of "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" will be at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 5, 6, 12 and 13, and 2:30 p.m. Aug. 7 and 14.

The final announcement was for the Local Show, a variety show held at Whittington Place from 7-9 p.m. the fourth Friday of each month.

The next three networking meetings are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 24, Jan. 23 and April 3. The Cultural Alliance is still looking for a location to host the meetings.

Entertainment on 07/20/2016

Print Headline: Cultural Alliance discusses Arts & The Park, upcoming events

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