LETTER: Arts grant provided great entertainment

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 Arts Council grant provided great entertainment

I enjoyed your review/editorial/column on the production of "Hairspray" held here. And I agree that the theatre-type venues we have available to us here (the high school theater, the Civic Center and others) could be used more.

The production of "Daddy Took the T-bird Away" you mentioned was sponsored by the then-new LaRue County Arts Council, as was an excellent production by the Shelbyville community theater group of "Oliver" a couple of years later, and many other types of performances over a period of several years including a Louisville Orchestra Christmas concert in combination with members of the high school choir and other singers from the community.

The funds for such events came from local sponsors, from ticket sales, and from a grant from the Kentucky Arts Council. The work was done by community volunteers, as many good things are around here and elsewhere. Sadly, that state funding is not available any more, but the volunteers are still here -- FYI doing the work of the arts council took about 70 hours a week of volunteer and then partly paid (by another grant) staff time to bring programs to the community and the schools. Thank you for your recognition of them by remembering some of it.

Another thing which should be mentioned is that there are several excellent productions put on at the high school each year, some student or student plus community and some all "community." These presentations are very well done, in the tradition established years ago by Garland Blair, now directed by his daughter Katy. They reflect the excellence of the school's speech program which always brings home prizes and big wins and has a lot of fans in the community.

I believe it to be one of the best programs any student can be involved in to be prepared for a lifetime of leadership and success.

Right now, a cast is working on a play using community actors, but also some who are graduates of the LCHS drama program. Watch for announcements about the play in coming weeks and don't miss it. If you like theater, you'll enjoy it. There's is nothing, after all, like live theater and the more you support this and other arts efforts in our community, the more you are likely to have.

Celia McDonald