The Surry Arts Council has filled a long-time vacancy inside the organization with the appointment of two artistic directors. Madi Chitty and Shelby Coleman have both joined the Arts Council in those posts.
“We received many, many resumes when we posted the position, but Madi and Shelby both stood out as exceptionally qualified candidates,” says Tanya Jones, executive director of the Surry Arts Council.
Chitty is originally from Charleston, S.C., and obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre at Ohio Northern University with a minor in art. She toured with Missoula Children’s Theatre for two years in the United States and Canada.
Her acting credits include Hedy LaRue in “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying,” Toffee in “Zombie Prom,” and Rita in “White Christmas.” Chitty’s art mediums of choice include watercolor, drawing, acrylic painting, and ceramics.
Coleman is originally from Kentucky and graduated from Morehead State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre with minors in Business and Dance. In addition to touring with Missoula Children’s Theatre for two years, Coleman has worked as a teaching artist for Lexington Children’s Theatre, toured with The Little Company (an educational touring troupe), and taught dance at a collegiate level.
Her favorite roles include Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz,” Hope Harcourt in “Anything Goes,” and Faye McFaye in “An Evening of Culture.”
“We have similar interests and experiences, but we each have our own strengths and passions,” said Coleman. “That’s one of the reasons we work so well together.”
Chitty agreed. “Working together is the best possible scenario,” she said. “We are able to brainstorm, plan and work together and we can offer a wider variety of programs.”
Community theatre is one of the things Chitty and Coleman are looking forward to, where they will perform roles ranging from directing and stage managing to costuming and choreography.
“Well, both of us have degrees in theatre, so of course we love it,” said Coleman. “We hear great things about the community theater here,” added Chitty. “We’re excited to get involved.”
Chitty and Coleman are also excited about the classes and workshops that they have coming up at the Surry Arts Council, many of which are starting in February. The classes range from singing and dance to acting and visual arts, both weekly and special one-time workshops.
“We have something for all ages, one through adult, and most of them are weekly, which is great because we’ll have time to really build on the skills we’re learning,” said Chitty.
“They are affordable, which is important; this is a community arts council and we want everyone in the community to be involved,” Coleman said.
Youth workshops include Broadway Baby Class (ages 0-2), Surry Arts Tiny Tots Dancers (ages 3-5), Pre-K Crafts (ages 3-5), Kids Art Class (ages 6-12), Beginning Acting (ages 7-12), Beginning Modern Dance (ages 10-18), Beginning Musical Theatre Dance (ages 10-18), and Surry Arts Singers (ages 12-18).
Teen and adult classes are Drawing and Painting 101 (ages 12 and up), Teen Drama Workshop (ages 13-18), and Adult Painting. Special workshops include “Brews and Brushes” which will be held at Thirsty Souls Community Brewing and “Cappuccino and Canvas” which will be held at Pages Books & Coffee, both of which will walk participants though painting their own masterpiece step-by-step.
For more information or to register for the classes and workshops, visit the Surry Arts Council website at www.surryarts.org or contact Madi ([email protected]) or Shelby ([email protected]) via email or phone (336-786-7998).