By AMANDA KIMBLE
“To encourage literature and the arts is a duty which every good citizen owes to his country.” – George Washington.
STEPHENVILLE (March 28, 2016) – For ages, everyone from presidents, philosophers and painters to historians, musicians and authors have agreed on a single notion – the arts, be they performing or visual, are an essential part of civilization. They bring people together, give birth to the creative process, encourage a level of thinking beyond reading, writing and arithmetic and serve as a society’s record book.
With that in mind, Stephenville 20th Century Club has worked for a decade to provide funding for programs across the county that foster a love – and deeper understanding of – the arts.
The club will host its 10th Annual Children’s Fine Arts Fundraiser and Auction April 7, and according to 20th Century Club President Dr. Kathy Horak Smith, the past nine events have raised about $40,000 for various organizations and programs that promote fine arts education, with more than $15,000 raised last year alone.
This year, 20th Century Club aims to meet – or beat – last year’s success and provide greater opportunities for art students at Huston Academy and Stephenville ISD, financial assistance for summer programs at Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council and musical enrichment for students of Bluff Dale ISD and Cathy Knoll Music Therapy Program for Special Needs.
Cathy Knoll explained how the club’s ongoing support benefits her students.
“Just as in the school programs, I do teach youngsters to make music in whatever way they are able,” Knoll said. “I use that music connection to develop connections and to form strategies to share with parents and teachers for dealing with challenging issues, for maximizing the potential of each individual, and for enhancing the quality of life of each person with special needs and he people around them.”
Principal Carol Taylor, of Huston Academy, a charter school for grades 8 through 12, hopes to take a new approach to arts instruction at the Stephenville campus. She said contributions from 20th Century Club would be used to fund a stipend for a visiting artist, who would share information on the various mediums, techniques and career opportunities associated with visual and graphic arts.
Taylor said the has struggled in the past to find an instructor to teach a single art class each semester and doesn’t currently have a strong art program. But administrators believe arts education – from a professional artist – should be available to interested students.
Bluff Dale ISD was selected as a beneficiary following the recent organization of a new band program.
Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council hosts a summer camp and other programs for local youth. Funding support allows the nonprofit organization to offer a variety of projects, as well as scholarships for students who would not otherwise be able to attend, according to CTFAC Executive Director Julie Crouch.
“We are very grateful for the ongoing support of the 20th Century Club,” Crouch said.
To make the funding possible, individuals and businesses have contributed auction items or provided monetary support through sponsorship of the event.
A long list of live auction items includes Boston Red Sox memorabilia from Stephenville High School (SHS) alumnus and professional baseball player Brock Holt, including an autographed hat and baseball from the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game and an autographed plaque.
Tickets to watch the Texas Rangers with prime seating – fourth row behind home plate – and a parking pass will also be up for bid, and basketball fans will have the opportunity to bid on an autographed Harlem Globetrotters basketball, signed by “Viper,” Tarleton State University graduate and former Texan forward during the silent auction.
Sports lovers who favor football can try for a Cody Davis jersey – the Los Angeles Ram is also a SHS graduate.
Meanwhile, bidders who fancy the arts will find an array of items to bind on, including “The Mare and the Foal,” a terracotta sculpture by Granbury artist Dana Gibson, a king-size quilt made by Etta “Julie” Myers, seats at Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council’s Paint the Town featuring local artist Stephen Wilson, original pieces by local artists Kathy Tate, Fran Hannah and Miller Wells, a $500 Tarleton State University scholarship and much more.
The silent auction will offer an array of gift baskets for everyone from newborns to wine lovers, as well as home décor, jewelry and more.
The fine arts fundraiser will be held 5-7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7 at City Hall at City Limits. In addition to a live and silent auction, the event will offer a cash bar and light snacks.
Entertainment will include a performance by an Elvis impersonator, whose services will also be up for bid. Dublin Layne Golden will also share his musical talents.
Tickets are $10 prior to the event and can be purchased from club members. They will also be available for $15 at the door.
Donations of silent or live auction items can still made by calling Dr. Smith at (254) 592-2379.
For more information on the upcoming fundraiser and to view the growing list of auction items, join the event on Facebook at facebook.com/events/1750200958532798