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A Curtain Speech

There are two types of curtain speeches. One before a show opens and one after a show ends. Today, in the spirit of this new blog and the start of Inspired Arts, I have the honor of making the opening curtain speech. If this were a real show, I would inform you of the exits, ask you to silence your cell phones and maybe crack a joke or two. Well, I'm not very funny and since this is the internet it would be silly for me to ask you to shut down your electronics. Instead, I want to offer you a different take on the curtain speech - A glance into the inside world of Inspired Arts and all the things happening behind the scenes.

This whole project began as a simple spa day that my good friend Sarah Elegante and I hosted in middle school where I was inspired (bass drum and cymbal fall off stage) to bring the performing arts to every possible teen. I noticed, while there were many programs in the community that catered to younger kids, the amount of programs declined as the kids got older. To me, middle school was the most pivotal time - kids get mean, hormones happen, you're too old to act like a kid and too young to act like an adult. Those were the years that started to define who you would be as a person and they could either build you up or leave lasting scars. Middle school is the time when the world comes crashing down every other day and it is the most important time to have someone supporting you. Your support system and role models can influence you greatly and you are just looking for an outlet to get rid of all the emotions. That's where the arts come in. The arts provide a family-like community as well as a therapeutic way to release feelings.

Which us leads to Inspired Arts...

As most of you know, a little over a month ago I turned 19. This means absolutely nothing in most of the world, but, in Alabama, it means I'm legally an adult. I can sign papers and do other adult-like things. In my world, those other adult-like things meant that Inspired Arts could be created. Nearly 2 months later, here we are! I was blessed with some incredible teachers last semester (namely Dr. Amy Traylor and Ms. Charlye Adams) who got me pointed in the right direction with the mountains of paperwork and the techniques we needed to make Inspired Arts a success. Within the last month, our confirmation has come from the IRS and we are officially a 501 (c) (3) exempt organization.

We are also running full steam ahead towards this year's summer camp - Ambition. About 45 kids will gather at the Dance Company and get to experience theatre, hip hop, jazz or lyrical, and singing workshops. An "Agent" will travel with each group of kids and get to know them and be able to help them through the week in areas that are or are not their strong suit. What makes this camp unique is that it will be offered free of charge making it accessible to teens who would not otherwise have the opportunity. Many of you have come forward to support us whether it is through providing a lunch, snacks, leading a group of kids or sending your prayers. We cannot express our gratitude enough.

Needless to say, Inspired Arts has taken over the lives of my close friends, family and me. This project feels like so much more than a project to us. Like the arts are apt to do, it has become a sort of home for us and has brought us even closer to each other - like family. You are each members of this family and, if you've never been part of a cast family before, we welcome you. Also, we want you to know that this goes both ways - if there is any way we can serve you, please do not hesitate to ask. We love you and we are grateful for you.

And with that.... ENJOY THE SHOW!

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