Coles County Arts Council to raise money for scholarships, programs

Cassie Buchman, City Editor

The Coles County Arts Council will have a fundraising dinner to raise money for various scholarships and events at 6 p.m on March 7th at Unique Suites Hotel.

The evening will consist of a sit-down meal, live entertainment and a silent auction.

The art at the auction will include jewelry, fiber art, quilts, vintage pieces and pottery all donated by local artists.

Jennifer Bryant, a board member on the council and prelude chair said they have around 50 pieces at this point, but the council is still taking donations.

“We’ll have a little bit of everything, books, paintings, photography,” she said.

At the Prelude, those who made substantial contributions will be honored for their support.

“Dr. and Mrs. Vaughn and Ruth Jaenike have all made a huge contribution to the arts,” Bryant said. “They have donated thousands of dollars in scholarships over the years.”

To honor them, the council will set up a $150 scholarship in their names. It is yet to be determined whom this scholarship will be for.

Money raised from Prelude will go to scholarships and events made by the council, such as the Kid’s Arts in the Park, Fourth of July Chalk-In, Honors Recital, City Art Gallery, Artist Day in the Garden, Biennial Exhibition Merit Award and the Embarrass Valley Film Festival.

There are many people working on the event, including one prelude chair, seven committee heads for different aspects of the event, and 10 committee members.

The theme for this year’s Prelude is “An Enchanted Evening.”

Bryant said the theme for last year’s prelude was “The Golden Age of Cinema” to celebrate the council’s 30th anniversary, and the year before they had a “Celebrating the Southwest” theme.

“There were saddles and everything,” Bryant said. “It was great.”

This year, to go with the enchanted theme, the decorators tried to give the rooms a fantasy feel.

Amanda Muse, a member of the decoration committee, said the they used Christmas bulbs, sparkly decorations, and black and purple butterflies to go with this theme.

“We even have real branches off of trees, water beads, and flickering candles,” Muse said.

Three groups will be providing the entertainment.

Girls from classes at the DanceLife center will be doing an Elizabethan ballet, the Charleston Alley Theater will be doing scenes from the play “The Lion in Winter” and Consort Universitatus, a local woodwind group, will be performing renaissance and classical music.

“The Charleston Alley Theater will have authentic renaissance costumes that will be exciting to see,” Bryant said.

Bryant said Prelude gets bigger every year.

“When we first had it, it was very small,” she said. “It was held in Tarble Arts Center, then we outgrew Tarble, and went to the Lifespan Center.”

They then outgrew the Lifespan Center, and after two years outgrew them and went to the Unique Suites Location.

Anyone can come to Prelude, but members of the Coles County Arts Council get a discount. Those attending are encouraged to RSVP but up to 200 walk-ins will be accepted on the night of the event.

Unique Suites is one of the council’s sponsors of the event, and donated a dessert buffet table with 15-20 different kinds of desserts, at a $562 value.

Also giving donations was Copy-x. They donated 50% of the cost of all printing used for Prelude.

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].