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Kennedy quotes reflect LCCA mission

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Debbie Jaillette

If you want to celebrate the tremendous lifetime accomplishments of highly acclaimed performance artists, one of the best programs to watch is the annual Kennedy Center Honors, which was televised Dec. 22. 

The Kennedy Center Honors have been awarded annually since 1978 by the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. 

Honorees are recognized for their extraordinary talents and lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts. The individuals honored in 2011 certainly fall in this category. They include actress Meryl Streep, jazz composer and saxophonist Sonny Rollins, singer/songwriter Neil Diamond, singer Barbara Cook, who makes her mark on the Broadway stage, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.  

It is natural that these awards are given by the Kennedy Center. 

President John F. Kennedy knew and understood how deeply the arts affect our past, present and future society. 

His quotes abound on the marble walls of the River Terrace in the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. 

He stated a desire to “further the appreciation of culture among all the people, to increase respect for the creative individual, to widen participation by all the processes and fulfillments of art…” 

Here is another  Kennedy quote that speaks directly to the mission of the Lancaster County Council of the Arts –     

“I look forward to an America which will reward achievement in the arts as we reward achievement in business…I look forward to an America which will steadily raise the standards of artistic accomplishment and which will steadily enlarge cultural opportunities for all of our citizens.”

For the last few years, the Lancaster County Council of the Arts and the Lancaster County School District have been involved with the Kennedy Center in a different, more direct way through the Partners in Education program. This program is designed to assist arts organizations throughout the nation in developing and/or expanding educational partnerships with their local school systems. 

The purpose of these partnerships is to establish or expand professional development programs in the arts for all teachers. Many of you have witnessed the work this strong collaboration between the LCCA and our teachers, students and Lancaster County School District administrators and elected officials has produced. The includes efforts such as the very visible banner project for the downtown business district, Youth Art Month and the Nutcracker Ballet.

Lancaster County is home to many talented musicians, dancers, artists, actors, authors plus many more who use creativity and imagination in their occupation and avocation. Our community is all the richer culturally for all those who share their extraordinary talents with us and those who appreciate the arts and all forms of artistic expression.  

Surely, even some of the deserving artists awarded a Kennedy Center honor in the past 34 years came from communities just like ours. 

We have just all celebrated the time of the year when giving comes naturally.  

Please continue to support the LCCA with your sponsorship of our programs, membership and mission in our community. We will work hard in order to maintain and increase your support throughout 2012, because we cannot exist at any level without you, our partners.

Please stop by the Springs House Gallery, 201 W. Gay St., this month of to enjoy the paintings of Sun City resident Barbara Naughton.   

Barbara’s opening reception is 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday. The public, as always, is warmly invited to attend and meet her.

Look for more upcoming details  on our annual Arts Gala. Also, mark your calendars now for our very popular Ladies Night Out which is April 19.

The LCCA can always use more volunteers, so please contact us at (803-285-7451) for more information.   

Join us also on Facebook (LCCArts), Twitter (LancasterSCArts) or on our website, www.lccarts.net

Arts. Imagination starts here.

 

 – Debbie Jaillette is executive director of Lancaster County Council of the Arts.