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New Director for ORCA
Monday, 15 June 2009


June 16--A former Vidalian has returned home and is now the new Director of the Ohoopee Regional Council for the Arts. Kathy Cheek is a previous Drama Director at Brewton Parker College, and has also spent the last 34 years as dance teacher, studio owner, and choreographer. Cheek has a vision to focus on reaching out to young people, as well as entire families in the community.

"I think it's wonderful if we can get our children away from the television and show them live theatre. This really stimulates childrens' brains and encourages their cognitive skills and their emotional and social skills. So, I am hoping we can reach more families this year with our programming. Also, I hope we can just build that awareness of performing arts in our area," says Cheek.
With the plunging economy, the arts have been especially hit by budget cuts and loss of funding, and ORCA has been no exception. After losing the stipen it usually receives from the county, ORCA's new director plans to push for private and corporate support to keep the arts alive.

"We're hoping that people will recall that this [economy downturn] has happened and that they will find it in their hearts, and especially in their pockets to support ORCA and the other arts organizations in our area. We hope to attract more corporate support, and in turn we always promote these organizations in our advertisements. Right now, we have Darby Bank, Meadows Regional Center, and DOT Foods as sponsors for our upcoming season. We are really appreciative of their support, but we have to go back to private and corporate suppor," Cheek explains.

Cheek already has many events programmed through February 2010, including a very different Performing Arts Season Kick-off.

"Coming up almost right away, we have our annual "Kid's Drama Camp." And this year, it will be held at the historic Pal Theatre from July 20-24. We have a traveling Smithsonian Exhibition, "Key Ingredients," it's from August 8 to September 20. Then, for our Performing Arts Season, we are opening with "Special Concenus," a bluegrass band, in an effort to reach a more diverse audience. And then we will close our season with "Five by Design: Club Swing," and that will be February 27," Cheek says.

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