Start With Art
A Message from Allison Halstead Reid,
Interim Executive Director
Our annual Gala Art Auction fundraiser allows us to continue serving the artists in our community, and just as importantly, the young students who are encouraged and nurtured to embrace their artistic selves.
My mother taught me from the time I could hold a crayon the importance of art in one’s life. My earliest memory of being introduced to the arts beyond the bounds of my home was a Creative Dramatics class for kids in North Seattle. I was 4 years old. I can still remember the teacher Mrs. Berreth instructing us to pretend our bodies were seeds in the ground and to make ourselves as small as we could. She then took an imaginary watering can and sprinkled us with drops so we could unfold our tiny arms and legs and grow into a tall tree reaching for the sky. It was magic. I was hooked.
I couldn’t possibly know at age 4 that I would fall in love with the arts, but my mother saw that I was drawn to it. She sought out more classes to feed my interest. At every age of my adolescence, I was encouraged to take part in the arts – ballet, painting, theater camps, you name it, I took it. I now know how fortunate I was to have a family that saw great value in the arts, and I was lucky growing up in a community that had an active arts program.
When I became a parent, I wanted to raise my children in a community with strong ties to the arts. I found it on Vashon. A place where there are ample opportunities for children to discover the arts, especially at Vashon Center for the Arts where countless classes in Arts Education, Dance and Artists in Schools programs exists. You need only spend an afternoon at the Blue Heron Education Center to see students creating, making, experiencing and reveling in the arts to know that it is alive. The student art shows, new works dance performances, and musical theater productions at VCA demonstrate the demand for the arts at all ages.
At VCA, our entire staff is passionate about making our programs accessible to every child, young adult, and islander who wants to discover the arts. Our commitment to making class fees and tuition affordable to all is just as important. We do that through your support.
When you raise your paddle tonight during the Live Auction appeal for our scholarship program, you are sending an important message to our community that the arts matter. You recognize the significant role that art plays in our lives, and how relevant it is to the exploration and creativity of our children.
Thank you for being with us tonight as we celebrate the arts and raise much needed funds to keep our many programs thriving.
If you’d like to make a donation by phone, please contact Jill Venturi at 206-408-7807.