Celebrate autumn and support the arts - Morgan Hill Times: Carol Harris

Celebrate autumn and support the arts

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Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 4:33 pm

As a native New Yorker, I still marvel at our region’s ideal weather even though I’ve lived here for 29 years. This year, as always, I look forward to the crisp air of autumn. Although not as dramatic as autumn in New York, I find the changing colors of leaves and the crunch underfoot as they cover sidewalks and yards invigorating. If you happen to see an adult woman skipping along the sidewalks while collecting leaves, it’s probably me.

You will certainly find me celebrating autumn on Oct. 13 when the Gilroy Arts Alliance presents its 2012 Divos and Divas Concert, “Swing, Swing, Sing.” Emcees Jayson Stebbins and Kevin Heath will provide entertaining banter between performances by vocalists Michael Annotti, Vivianne Castillo, Donna Federico, Patti Lemon and Ted Sanchez, accompanied by the Jazz Committee, and Michael Carter and The Line Up.

This is the fourth annual concert presented by the Arts Alliance and it promises an excellent dinner, beautiful decor and outstanding musicians, all professionals in their own right. All of the songs, with the exception of two originals, are classics. From Michael Annotti’s opening of “Sunny Side of the Street” to Donna Federico’s closing “As Time Goes Bye,” you’ll be tapping your toes all night and maybe even for a few days following. Ticket prices go up after Oct. 11 so mark your calendar and make your reservations. All proceeds go toward maintaining the Gilroy Interim Center for the Arts.

On Oct. 24, the City of Gilroy Arts and Culture Commission will hold its 3rd annual Arts Round Table Forum and Panel featuring keynote speaker Joshua Russell, director of external affairs of the Arts Council Silicon Valley. Russell will present the latest study on Arts and Economic Prosperity based on the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences in Santa Clara County. Facilitated by Whitney Pintello, the panel includes Chris Hofer Borrer, Katherine Filice, Kevin Heath, Jane Howard, Amber Madrone, Joshua Russell and Audrey Wong. A question and answer discussion will follow the panel presentation.

If you are an artist, arts advocate, business owner or involved with a nonprofit organization and wish to be part of the arts decision-making process in the Gilroy community, this forum is for you. Confirm your attendance to sondra.banks@ci.gilroy.ca.us by Oct. 19.

Although grant writing will not be a focus of the forum, take the opportunity to introduce yourself to Audrey Wong. If you are interested in receiving a grant from the Arts Council Silicon Valley, The Gilroy Arts Alliance plans to sponsor a free workshop with Wong that will combine grant writing basics, specific information on Arts Council grant programs, and an introduction to the online grant application and the Cultural Data Project. If you are interested, contact me or email awong@artscouncil.org.

•••

The Gilroy Arts Community lost a talented, kind and brave woman on Aug. 28. Diana Young was in attendance at last year’s Round Table Forum wearing her beautiful smile and speaking to as many people as time permitted about their involvement and interest in the arts. She had the unique ability to treat each person she spoke with as though they were the most important person in the room and when conversations turned bleak she always seemed to find the sunny side.

A credentialed teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing with a degree in art therapy and counseling, she was quick to tell you that she couldn’t remember when she wasn’t making art. She developed unique techniques of gilding glass and photographic images with gold and silver and used these techniques to create lovely greeting cards which brought joy to others. Art and music became a creative force against the cancer she struggled with for nine years. Diana served on the Arts and Culture Commission, but because of her failing health she was not able to continue on the commission when her term ended in January. Her memory will continue to be an inspiration for the arts in Gilroy.

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