Tuesday, January 29, 2013

View From The Bridge 1/29/13

“VIEW from the BRIDGE”
By Muncie

 The following is strictly my opinion about the Chouteau County Performing Arts.  To "set the stage," when I lived in Michigan, I had season tickets to the Detroit Symphony, Meadowbrook Summer Symphony, and several Community Playhouses.  There were Sunday afternoon “Symphony Winds” performances at the Edsel Ford home in Bloomfield Hills and summer afternoon Carillon Concerts.  Several of my friends thought I would be culturally deprived by moving to Montana.  However, CCPA has been my “ARTS” salvation.  It provides musical and theater performances to keep me entertained.  I support it, as I do no other organization.  With others, I often do not know where my donations go; I know where it goes with CCPA. 

I was in Great Falls Saturday to enjoy the annual Montana Performing Arts Consortium (MPAC).  When Arlynn Fishbaugh, Executive Director of the Montana Arts Council, gave the keynote address, it struck me that there may be many in Fort Benton who do not realize what CCPA is all about.  The National Endowment for the Arts is what it is.  It is a National Program funded, not only nationally, but also here in the State of Montana.  Every state in the Union has these programs.  It is an ARTS PROGRAM that should be at the top of your list for funding.  It keeps the ARTS alive for all of us and, even more importantly, in the lives of your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

 It should come as no surprise that “ARTS” funding from the national level to Montana has been and continues to be cut.  Therefore, support from our communities is now more important than ever.  For example, last Thursday evening when the Bottomline Duo appeared in Fort Benton, 126 people turned out for that awesome show.  As usual, I overheard in the aisles afterward, "It’s too bad that so few people were here for this great show.”  CCPA's season tickets for eight (8) shows this year cost a total of $40:00.  That equates to $5.00 a show.  There are very few other venues in our driving area where you could see two or even one show for $40.00.  
The Chouteau County Performing Arts Committee works very hard at a big, big job: choosing the performers to appear, negotiating with them, keeping things on track technically and logistically, arranging lodging, often making performer’s evening dinner, setting up the stage, ushering performers to Outreach classes at schools, and additional performances with shut-in seniors, and on and on. 
The point of this whole article is that the arts program in Montana and locally continues to deserve your support.  Not only is it a great value now, but it also goes far in saving our ARTS for future generations.  
As an aside, the MPAC Consortium at the Great Falls Civic Center last Saturday there were 17 abbreviated shows by artists nation-wide in three 2-hour sets.  It was incredible!  It was also free and open to the public, and well-advertised.   Very few people turned out. Next January, this big MPAC event will be back in Fort Benton.  Wouldn't it be great if we packed the auditorium and let Montana know there are no stronger arts backers than right here in Chouteau County?

That time has rolled around again for Effie Johnson’s birthday.  It is getting close to the 10th of February when she will be 92 years young.  She has lived another well cared for year with the wonderful staff at the Missouri River Medical Center Nursing Home.  Would everyone wish her a Happy Birthday again this and a visit would be extra special.  (This message was sent to me by “Anonymous”.)  I will remind you again next week.

Just a reminder that next Saturday at 2:00 p.m. there will be a Tea Party at the Community Bible Church.  Take a few hours off from your busy schedules and join with family and friends for a fellowship afternoon. 

There will be two more collections for this pilot test of cardboard and newspaper recycling on February 2nd and the 16th.  (I know that several people told newspaper and me that they had forgotten so I hope that means there will be a great deal more cardboard and newspapers.)  The collection on Saturday, February 2nd will be from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.  It will be at the Fairgrounds near the 4H building.  The Committee asks that you bundled the newspaper or in paper sacks or plastic grocery bags.  (I found that if I put them into a plastic grocery sack, it was easier to tie up.  If you can flatten the3 cardboard it would help but if you cannot, the collectors is prepared to do it for you.  Mark it on your calendar now.

Because this Community Meeting is being held on Thursday, February 7th, I am putting the reminder in this weeks View.  It may be too late for you to read it in February 6th edition of the River Press.  The Committee needs Fort Benton resident’s information about the recycling program.  It will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the High School Library.  This is a vital meeting concerning the recycling program in Fort Benton.  Are you interested in recycling?  Are you willing to recycle?  Your input is needed, so see you there.

5.     “Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.”  Terri – age 4
6.     “Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him to make sure the taste is OK.”  Danny – age 7

(Sorry to say but I am not getting very far with this project.  It is the best and only way to show our Troops they have our support.  Get those red shirts, blouses, t-shirts, and sweaters ready to go.  If you do not have any clothing item that is red…go buy now.)