One of the Surry Arts Council’s biggest fund raisers of the year — the annual Arts Ball — is just around the corner.
The annual event, which brings in around $30,000 a year for the arts council, is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 23 this year.
“All of the funds we raise through Arts Ball go to school cultural arts programs,” notes Melissa Sumner, with the Surry Arts Council. “It’s so important that these programs remain free for the schools, so that every student has these opportunities. It’s absolutely a group effort, and we are all very motivated to make it a success.”
School personnel and many volunteers have been hard at work collecting items for the auction in preparation for the event. According to Sumner, 24 area schools as well as the Mount Airy and Surry County boards of education have contributed, as well as many local and regional businesses.
“We’re still collecting and would love to have more,” added Sumner. “If anyone has services or items they would like to donate, please let us know.”
The ball will include both silent and live auctions, a seated dinner, live entertainment by the Band of Oz, and dancing. Sumner said that more than 400 items were auctioned at last year’s ball, with more than 200 people attended the event.
The Arts Council works with the Surry County and Mount Airy school districts and Millennium Charter Academy to ensure the funds raised at the event are put to use with programming that engages and encourages youth to appreciate and take an active role in the arts, building audiences for the future.
“Our goal is to send at least one program to every school each year as well as to host programs at Surry Arts Council venues that schools can attend throughout the school year,” Sumner said. The funds are also used as leverage for grants from other entities.
In the 2016-2017 school year, more than two dozen artists visited schools and more than 10,000 students were bused to council venues for arts programming. The schools contributed approximately $1 per student and grants provided an additional $20,000. The remaining funds were raised at the Arts Ball and the Mayberry Days Bake Sale.
While the Arts Ball kicks off at 6 p.m., early bidding on silent auction items begins at noon. The cost for the event, which is held at Cross Creek Country Club, is $75 per person. Sumner encourages everyone to attend.
“It’s a great time. Everyone always has a lot of fun and it is the best way to ensure the arts remain a part of the lives and education of children in Surry County,” she said.
For additional information or to purchase tickets, contact Dana Whitaker at (336) 786-7998 or [email protected] or visit the website at www.surryarts.org .