At the Jan. 13 meeting of the Roxboro Kiwanis Club at La Piazza restaurant in Uptown Roxboro, Erin Ganey Hill, executive director of the Person County Arts Council and Kirby Cultural Arts Complex, updated the club on the Arts Council’s outreach activities. Total attendance at sponsored events for 2018-19 was 52,355, which was more than 20,000 above the 2012 season.
Hill reminded club members that the Arts Council works in partnership with the Person County Recreation, Arts and Parks Department and Piedmont Community College to provide Performing Arts Series programming, as well as Arts in Education opportunities and other free events to the community. It also provides public art.
She reviewed recent Roxboro Little Theater productions and the Performing Arts Series. The latter included the UNC-G Faculty Jazz Quintet, Muttville Comix, The Wiz (a Roxboro Little Theater production), The Hall Sisters, and Sanders Family Christmas in the fall of 2019. The schedule for 2020 includes Mike Wiley’s Blood One Noble Journey, Plaza Suite (presented by Roxboro Little Theater), Barefoot Movement (Bluegrass), and Oklahoma (another Roxboro Little Theater production).
Hill highlighted the Person County Tourism Development Authority’s free movie series for this year, which includes Greenbook, Hotel Transylvania, How to Train Your Dragon and I Can Only Imagine. Concession sale proceeds at each of these films benefit a local nonprofit organization. In addition, Wonder Park will be presented in March as a sensory friendly movie for those with special needs
Public art includes the street mural on Main Street at the Kirby Complex crosswalk and murals of local scenes painted by Kate Lagaly and hanging in the alley leading to the Mountain Road parking lot. More street murals are also planned for 2020.
Fred Motley will continue his storytelling Elementary School Residency. This programming most recently served eight elementary schools and 1,022 students during a period of nine weeks.
There are five live summer shows for school age children, including Fish the Magish, Bright Star, Kris Kross Mango Sauce, and Rags to Riches. Little Theater for children continues to grow, including Lion King last summer, which involved 70 students and 37 adult volunteers. Elf Jr. was produced for the older children.
Arts Expressions Camps involve the public housing complexes and provide art activities and food for the young residents. There are also free field trips for elementary age students, which include activities and a show. Hill noted that this program reached 358 students and 58 adults this past year.
The Arts Council will sponsor Pickin’ by the Lake in September. She mentioned that funding for the children’s programs is provided by United Way and the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council. Hill informed the group that the Roxboro Little Theater will present Matilda, The Crown, and You Can’t Take It With You among its 2020 offerings. At the close of her presentation, she received a contribution from the club in support of the Arts Council outreach programs.