“Who says there’s nothing to do, right?” said Lindsey Bennett, executive director of the Cheraw Arts Commission. “It’s been a busy summer.”
Cheraw has been bustling with events for children, and adults, all summer. These most recent events, the Kid’s Blast and the theater production, are just a portion of the year-long events hosted by the Cheraw Arts Commission, the Cheraw Parks and Leisure Services, and the Town of Cheraw.
Between programs and events offered at Spring Festival, year-long classes in dance, art, and gymnastics, Jazz Festival activities and concerts, and participation in art shows at the Mary G. Burr Gallery at the Community Center, Cheraw manages to reach “approximately 10,000 children a year,” said Bennett. Granted, some of those children are counted more than once, but isn’t that what it’s all about?
If it indeed takes a village to raise a child, as Hillary Clinton once declared, then don’t let it be said this village doesn’t have any cultural life. This summer alone, various agencies, including the Cheraw State Park, have offered a host of events. The Lakeside Music Room produced three concerts and the final in that series is set for Friday, Aug. 31. The town sponsored Cheraw Alive, a series of three concerts held downtown at Centennial Park. There was the Jazzin’ in July concert for Mercy in Me, the Fourth of July celebration with a brilliant fireworks display, and the list goes on.
The Kid’s Blast, last Thursday alone, saw the participation of more than 300 children. And as for cultural influence in the theater, many local young people have literally grown up with the excitement of the stage through Porkchop Productions theater camps. “This is the first year I haven’t had a grandchild involved in theater camp in 17 years,” said Peggy Micheaux. “But I’ll have a great grand here next summer.”
This summer alone, the Cheraw Arts Commission sponsored cartooning for children, metal jewelry making for children, Wacky Wee Wednesday for pre-schoolers, drawing class for children, the theater camp and more. But summer doesn’t mark the end of cultural influence for Cheraw’s young people.
Each year in October a Jazz Outreach Program, coordinated by the Cheraw Arts Commission, reaches every student in the Cheraw public school system through performance clinics and concerts. This here’s Jazz Outreach program will feature the United States Air Force Academy Band of Colorado Springs. That concert is set for Thursday, Oct. 18, at Long Middle School.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.