ArtsPlace invites its graduates to July 28 gala

The Rockford Area Arts Council is searching for ArtsPlace “graduates.”

The Arts Council has sponsored ArtsPlace, a summer youth arts apprenticeship program, for 13 years. More than 600 area youth have participated in the program since it began in 1995 at Davis Park.

The Arts Council wants to touch base with graduates and extend an invitation to attend this year’s Gala Event at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, July 28, at Rockford College’s Maddox Theater.

Sharon Nesbit-Davis, Education/Outreach director of the Arts Council, said: “I was marching in the Fourth of July parade and kept hearing my name called out from the crowd. It was almost always a former ArtsPlace kid. Several were asking if we still had ArtsPlace.”

That is when Nesbit-Davis got the idea to invite the former apprentices to this year’s Gala event, which features performances from the Dance and Drama teams, an art exhibit and auction and premiere of a film.

“We moved ArtsPlace from downtown to Rockford College last year, so some of the kids didn’t know where we are,” she said. “We want them to know they are always welcome to come ‘home.’ We also want to find out how they are doing.”

If you are a former ArtsPlace apprentice or have contact information for former apprentices, call the Rockford Area Arts Council at (815) 963-6765.

ArtsPlace meets at Rockford College Clark Arts Center 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Thursday, and is made possible by grants and donations, including the Illinois Arts Council, the Rockford Park District, the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, and more than 30 individuals and local companies.

from the July 18-24, 2007, issue

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