By Emma Wynkoop
Each year, the Marin School of the Arts (MSA) Showcase is the biggest fundraiser of all, creating a night to remember for all guests who attend. The Showcase is named such because it features all of MSA’s art programs, and respectfully requests for guests to donate money so that the beautiful development of talent can live on.
The choir sang, the bands played, the actors performed and the dancers...well, danced! In addition, the guests viewed exclusive original films from the young and talented cinematographers, and heard beautiful stories from the poets. To top the night off, donors were treated to a catered dessert and coffee bar and an impressive student art gallery. The art gallery exhibited photographs, paintings, drawings and sculptures from the many talented MSA artists.
MSA Jazz teacher, Dr. Greg Johnson, was happy to see the many different performers come together, “It’s easy to develop a certain tunnel vision when you’re in a program like MSA. It’s easy to lose track of all the different programs, and when you walk through the halls and you see a hundred paintings by students or you hear the awesome jazz band or choir or orchestra, or you see theatre dancing...the sense of buy-in increases, the sense of significance increases and it builds a bond.”
The majority of the audience were parents of students and alums. Rhian Robinson, the MSA office manager hoped to receive about $50,000 in donations this year from Showcase and the majority of it was to come from both the auctions and ticket sales.
“It goes into central funds, like if we want to take a field trip we can afford to do it, or if we wanted to buy new equipment we could afford to do it,” said Robinson.
Robinson believes that Showcase has other benefits for the school as well. “It gives the community an opportunity to see what we actually do and how we do it and know that we actually do it well,” Robinson said. “It also gives the kids a chance to perform not at school, to make sure you know you can have that magic on stage at school but making sure that that magic translates into a bigger venue and a different audience.”
The feeling of being in demand is a major positive for the young MSA virtuosos. It doesn’t hurt the confidence either that general admission tickets were being sold for $85 per person.
“I really like walking around the gallery because it’s really cool to see all the pieces students have done and see price tags on them and it’s like wow, they're making money for what they can do. Their talent is paying off,” said Novato High School junior and MSA dancer, Caitlin Mcmann.
This grand night is an amazing experience for all of the students involved, allowing them to share their work and creativity with a large audience. Many MSA students are eager to pursue the arts beyond high school, and being a part of this event shows them one of the many ways that their art can be funded.
The tune of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer sums it up the best; “You know actors and dancers and sculptors and singers, painters and poets and writers and filmmakers, but do you recall the greatest program of all... MSA.”