Arts Alive ends with downtown parade

David Broyles

June 28, 2014

Surry Arts Council “Arts Alive” organizers appeared elated at Thursday’s annual parade downtown as a large crowd of children and families proudly paced down Main Street wearing the arts camp’s distinctive blue shirts.

“When the weather is good, everything is good,” said Council Director Tanya Jones before the camper’s performance onstage at the Andy Griffith Playhouse. She noted the long running camp remains important because it keeps local interest in the arts going by inspiring children.

She said getting onstage when you are the age of the younger campers (3 years and up), is an important step at that age and builds confidence.

“For a lot of kids for a lot of years this is their first time on stage,” said Jones. “Just recently, I found an Arts Alive tee shirt designed by Anna Wood. I’m saving it for her parents.” Jones was referring to the local actress who is the daughter of Bert and Mary Beth Wood. She has appeared on the NBC television series “Deception,” and the new CBS series “Reckless”as well as roles in other TV series and movies.

Jones said the opportunities for children provided by the week-long camps and other activities prove to participants their dreams can come true and 3 years old isn’t too early to grasp this concept. She praised strong local support for arts programs.

“I am an advocate for the arts being important in everything,” said Jones. “Clearly, their contribution can be seen throughout our society and successful people in our society. There’s a lot of people and businesses who support us to keep the arts up and going so there are opportunities for kids.”

Retired librarian Jane Tesh, and her puppet Max, led participants in five new verses for “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” which included a pig, a cow and a dinosaur glittering in heavens. Kayla Ellis served as arts and crafts teacher with music on stage organized by Peter Holland and LuAnn Lovelace. Staffers Melissa Sumner and Jessica Price helped oversee the two camps which were held from Monday through Thursday, last week for ages 3 to 5 and this week for 6 to 12-year-olds at the Andy Griffith Playhouse.

Jones said 15 volunteers from high school, college and middle school helped including University of North Carolina senior Jasmine Hagwood and UNC-Greensboro student Meg Pruett. Other volunteers for Arts Alive this year included Emma Carter, Caitlyn Price, Amy Cockerham, Pearl Moore, Robert Parks and Windham Martin. The theme of Arts Alive this year is “Star Gazing” but a constant theme of the activities remains.

She said The Dairy Center dished out around 200 hot dogs and trimmings at the celebration following the parade. The tee shirts worn by parade participants this year was designed by Madeline Caudill. The campers’ show onstage was followed by a magic show by South Carolina magician Ray Hardee.

David Broyles may be reached at 336-325-0188 or on twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.