Callaway Arts Rocks

9 years 5 months 4 days ago July 04, 2007 Jul 4, 2007 Wednesday, July 04 2007 Wednesday, July 04, 2007 10:06:16 AM CDT in News

Emma Carter is not your typical high school sophomore. In her free time she likes explaining the Constitution... Through song.

"If I wasn't doing this, I'd probably just be spending a lot of time at home sitting around, doing nothing," said Carter.

Carter rocks as Dori in School House Rocks Junior, a show based on the educational songs from the old Saturday morning cartoon. The Callaway Arts Council sponsored the show. It's an organization with people who learned first-hand how important the arts can be.

"We didn't get second place. We didn't settle for second best. And, you know, now that we're middle-aged people, we want to give those same gifts back and develop them in our kids," said Cathy Woodson, Director.

Shows like School House Rocks Junior help the Callaway Arts Council give art not only to kids but to the entire community, but that goal is just the beginning of a long journey.

"The Callaway Arts Council is to revive the arts in Callaway County, and ultimately reviving the old theater downtown," said Tom Clapp, Callaway Arts Council Chairman.

This is a goal Woodson thinks is important.

"I'm excited about the possibility. You know, we had to borrow this facility for this event. We had to borrow William Woods last year," said Woodson.

But, Carter doesn't care where she performs.

"I've had a lot of fun doing plays in Fulton, because I've met a lot of people. I love acting here," said Carter.

And acting is becoming a big deal here, so much so that there had to be two casts for this one show: An older one and a younger one.

"The little kids are really cute whenever they do it. And, even though we're doing the same show, they're really different because the little kids do their own thing," said Carter.

Two casts means you can teach an important lesson to two groups.

"You have to accept personal responsibility for making your part good. There is no one else to play your part here. And, they need to see it as a different kind of activity with a different focus," said Woodson.

But, for the arts council, lessons in life aren't the only goal of the production. Developing a children's theater program is one of many steps towards building an artistic foundation for their new theater.

"But, in order to do that we need to start all these art groups that act as a part of us, so we can utilize the facility when we finally have it really up and running," said Carter

And, for Clapp, hopefully running as a vibrant part of the community.

"That's what I really want for this project- is to involve as many people from the community, either as performers, or as support personnel, or just as people that go and see the shows," said Clapp.

Audience members get to see actors like Carter, though they almost didn't get to.

"I didn't want to audition at first. But, my mom said 'you know, you're going to want to be in this play.' So, i tried out, and we've had a lot of fun. And, I'm glad I'm in it," said Carter.

And glad she's a part of a growing Callaway arts community. The Council has been working to promote the arts in Callaway County for two years, but the real big push to renovate the theater downtown hasn't begun yet and won't for at least another year.

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