Starting Off Right

This season we are staring community theatre in the face and laying a beautiful, romantic kiss right on the lips! I am anticipating great things from The FOA and what we as a community have to offer each other by way of ballet and theatre arts. But of even greater benefit is what we have to offer by way of engaging through the arts to learn more about each others’ lives, our potentials, and our way of thinking about the type of community in which we want to thrive.

The shows have been chosen and announced, and now we’re ready to engage the community in ways we haven’t even tried yet. When you come to The Forum this year, you may be asked if it’s your birthday or anniversary of some kind – we’ll announce it and celebrate with you. And if you’re a Triple Threat Club member (a patron, volunteer, and donor) you’ll be offered something from the TTC Basket as a thank-you for supporting the FOA’s mission in every way possible. Also, if you support the FOA financially in any way as a sponsor or donor or season ticket holder, you may be asked to wear a sticker to show it. of course, you don’t have to, we simply want to show our appreciation for you and how much you take care to ensure that the arts are available for everyone. You’ll be told of a few “Easter Eggs”, little things to know about the show’s production that you’ll discover as you experience the story onstage, hopefully making your experience an even more interesting one. Then, after the show, you’ll receive a survey in your email in which you can “sound off” about your experience so that we can better serve you in the future. Volunteers will also receive a survey because the experience of our volunteers is of the utmost importance to us. Surveys have always been used to help shape the future of FOA programming, but now more than ever, we want to hear from you because your ideas are at the heart of everything we do for the community.

In The Arts Center, our students and teachers will be engaged like never before. I plan on observing every class throughout the semester to learn more about each teacher’s style of teaching and to gather up good stories in order to brag to our community about what our students are learning. Our teachers and students are some of the best around, and the most wonderful thing about them is that they’re getting better and better every day. We have always lived on surveys and evaluations by our students, their parents, and even the teachers as they learn from each other. We plan to continue that – but also want to build on creating a plan for our students after they leave The Arts Center. That way we are creating life-long artists and craftsmen who can enrich the communities in which they live long after their time at The FOA – thus ensuring that the FOA’s impact on the community lasts long into the future.

The FOA has launched our new Women’s Giving Circle this year as well. These women meet every other month to learn more about the different aspects of the FOA and the needs which they can help meet. They have fun finding out which program they can grab ahold of to add their own unique flair, and I love hearing their ideas and conversations about where their skills can add quality to our community. But we want to hear from more than just our Women’s Giving Circle. I hope you share your experiences at The FOA and memories of The Forum Theater (and formerly The Strand) with the community by sending us your blogs through the FOA web site. And in addition to these new opportunities, our other committees are still working to help make the FOA better and better.

I am more thrilled than ever before to begin this season of the arts in Jonesboro. The kiss we are about to lay on the arts may just rival Casablanca’s between Bergman and Bogart (so for you young ones who haven’t seen it, see it!). But this whopper isn’t to say goodbye – it’s to say hello to a year filled with creativity and community. The FOA’s constituents are smart people who make this community better, and we plan to continue to encourage them to shine brighter than ever before through their talent, skill, untapped potential, and ideas. Thank you, Jonesboro and all of Northeast Arkansas, for The Foundation of Arts!

Kristi Pulliam

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