Wednesday, January 30, 2019

View From The Bridge 1/30/19

By Muncie

What is Consortium? With new families moving into Fort Benton, I thought they would wonder what I am writing about. I will try to explain.

A little history of the Montana Performing Arts Consortium (MPAC) was incorporated in 1982 and became tax exempt the following year. During its first quarter of a century MPAC averaged over 300 hours of performing arts events. MPAC has developed from 1982 to 2019 to what we have today. Performing Arts in cities across Montana joining together for cost and schedules have may it what we have today.

Having a Consortium each year brings together the Performing Arts Boards to see the showcases and talk directly with the artists. They also can discuss doing “group” bookings instead of singles. Group bookings can save them money.

I hope that this explains the exciting weekend and be sure to purchase your seasons tickets for the artists the CCPA Board will be choosing for the 2019/2020 season.

The CCPA Board will be very busy contacting ad booking the artists they will choose. The next step is to get the booklet put together with advertising and schedules. Posters will be available with a schedule on it.

Please thank the board members for all their work. I know they would appreciate it.

The Chouteau County Performing Arts Board had the best weather/driving conditions last Friday and Saturday as this was the year for it to be held in Great Falls.

Friday at 3:00 p.m. began the registration ad set up tables for the artists. There was a lot of time for visiting artists who have been to MPAC previously and others who have never been. (Several have never been to Montana before.

There was actually a group of three brothers and one cousin who call themselves “Stringfever.” Yes they are called Stringfever because they play violins. They came from London, England to do a showcase. I hope that I see them again here in Fort Benton for one of our CCPA evenings.

I remember getting back to Fort Benton about 9:30 p.m. to pack up for a long day on Saturday. I had a wake-up call at 6:30 (wow…it is still dark out) and was picked up by Randy at 7:30. The first showcase began at 9:00 a.m. but since Randy is the MC we had to be there early for him to go over the program if there were any changes.

I wondered around the room taking in all the wonders of the set-up. Almost all the artists had large screen computers set up with ear phones with volume control. I had a great time listening to all that I could before it was time to get to the auditorium.

I never saw two hours go by so quickly. We enjoyed six showcases. It was then time for visiting with those artists who had performed.
Lunch time was catered by our favorite caterer, Chandee from Loma. It was special, of course, serving two kinds of soup and wrapped sandwiches. Yummy!

After lunch, it was back to the auditorium for the second showcase at 12:30 p.m. I am so jealous of these artists talent. Such talent is only given to a few and all the rest of us can do is enjoy! Those artists that I spoke with told me that they began as a child. (I do not remember being a child any more. What happened to those eight years that I took piano lessons?)

After the second session there was a little time to talk to those artists. As I headed back to the auditorium, I had a surprise. I have a good friend In Great Falls, Sue, whom I met years ago through the Marine Corps League. I invited her to come to the Civic Center and she showed up for the third showcases. It was arranged for her to have dinner with us. She had a wonderful time and was exposed to what I have been talking about for years. She especially enjoyed the silent auction items and she read to me all the contents of the baskets. The results of the auction were announced after dinner and she was very impressed with the whole event.

I know that Sandy and Gary spent Saturday at Consortium. They are faithful supporters of CCPA. Thank you!

It was a happy ending to another consortium and I’m looking forward to next year when all this excitement takes place in Fort Benton.

On our way home on Friday evening from Great Falls we were able to listen to the Fort Benton basketball game. I would like to thank Chris Halko for sponsoring that program. It was very enjoyable to hear the play by play. (It really helped keep my neck from aching because I did not have to look from right to left and left to right. Thanks again Chris.

I hope that you remembered and put on your calendars that Wednesday evening is the next performing arts program. The Sound Exchange is one that I have been looking forward to. I saw them last year at the consortium here I Fort Benton.

The next CCPA night will be on February 12th featuring “Spectrum.” Please put it on your calendar and invite all your family, friends, and neighbors. I wish is to fill the auditorium to impress the entertainers, who have traveled the world, that small town America is something special.

If you find that you have a conflict and cannot attend, give your ticket to someone else to use. Just be sure to get it back again because there are three more shows coming in the next few months.

Remember, children are free when they come with their parents.

On February 3rd 1:00 p.m. to 3 p.m. an open House will be held. Take a ride to the north end of town to check out the Assisted Living building and other things taking place.

Actually, the Assisted Living building has the proper name of Front Range Assisted Living. See you there!

The annual play, presented by local actors and actresses, will take place on Friday the 8th ad Saturday the 9th of February. Check your River Press for times and don’t miss this hilarious evening. It is a dinner theatre and a Saturday luncheon. The food is delicious and the play is Academy Award winning. Trust me! You will have a great time ad see you there!