Musicale to take place on Sunday

By By Warren Arceneaux / American Press

Musicale, the Literacy Council of Southwest Louisiana’s fundraiser, is getting bigger in its second production.

This year’s event will be at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, in the Central School Arts and Humanities Center, 809 Kirby St.

It will feature food by Nic Hunter of the Harlequin restaurant and tunes by a pair of artists with local roots, Vinton native

Marcia Ball and Lake Charles native Wendy Colonna.

“We have already sold more VIP tickets for this year; we are excited about it,” said Executive Director Tommeka Semien. “We

are glad more people are taking an interest in the event and hope they will enjoy it again.”

Council staff members made a recruiting trip to New Orleans to entice Ball and Colonna to perform at this year’s event, whose

proceeds support Literacy Council programs.

Among the programs is an adult education literacy initiative for anyone over the age of 16 who is not enrolled in school.

“Typically, participants in the program do not have a GED or diploma and come in reading below fourth- or fifth-grade level,”

Semien said. “Their interest is in improving their skills so they can go to work or find better employment.”

The program can help participants earn a high school equivalency diploma and transition into college, she said.

“It is our biggest program,” Semien said. “Currently, we offer services in Lake Charles, Grand Lake, Jennings and Beauregard

Parish. We are planning on starting an office in Sulphur in the next month or so.”

She said the program had about 900 participants last year and that officials hope to have even more this year. The next round

of testing for new students will be the first week in November.

The council also provides writing and

math tutoring to middle and high school students. To enroll in the

program, students

must establish their need by supplying a recent report card or

test scores. Tutoring is 4-6 p.m. Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday

and Thursday at Central School.

Semien said she hopes the community helps the fundraising event grow. “We hope to fill out all of our VIP seating,” she said.

“But we are leaving the majority of room open to the general public.”

Nearly 300 people attended last year’s event, and the group has already sold 250 VIP tickets for this year’s fundraiser, Semien


For more information on Literacy Council services, call 494-7000 or 888-LIT-SWLA or email