Enjoy art, ballet, theater and music – safely

Rita LeBleu

Lake Area residents don’t have to stay in this weekend or next. No, the governor has not moved the state into the next phase, but the city of Lake Charles has created an opportunity for area residents of all ages to enjoy, art, ballet, theater and music – safely – with Art Six-Feet Apart. It’s not a festival, but it does promise to be festive. The creative shot in the arm most folks need in this post-hurricanes, back-to-phase-2 year that will soon be over starts with a free art supply giveaway at Central School, and then the action moves to Downtown Lake Charles.   

Events are free. Pre-register right away because crowds will be limited to 50 to keep participants and attendees safe.  

Today, Friday, Dec. 4, the Arts and Humanities Council of SWLA hosts a free children’s art supply drive through at Central School, 809 Kirby St. from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Participants will be instructed to stream free art lessons from local art educators.  “If you don’t attend the giveaway, don’t worry,” said Matt Young, City of Lake Charles director of cultural affairs. “You can still complete the art projects that use common household items.”

Go to www.facebook.com/ArtsCouncilSWLA to find out more.  

Next up, see local artists Danny Allain and Julie Groth at 5 p.m. They will conduct a live visual art demonstration in Ten Pin Alley, located behind 1910 Restaurant (949 Ryan Street).  

The weather report looks good, an opportunity to wear a jacket with temps in the 50s and high 40s, but no rain expected, according to the weather.com forecast, good news for painters and participants alike.   

“After all, I will be painting en plein aire,” said Julie Groth.  

En plein aire means painting outdoors in the open air. Groth is known for her abstract birds, but said if she works on one of those paintings during the art walk, it can’t be considered en plein aire, whether she’s outside painting or not. To stay true to the term, she would have to paint what she sees.  

“They’ll just have to come see,” she said. “I might even have some of my birds available for purchase.”

Danny Allain is known for his murals and comic books. He will be working on a nativity scene.  

Also Friday, Dec. 4 at 5 p.m at the Historic City Hall’s front plaza (1001 Ryan Street): The Senior Company members of the Lake Area Ballet Theater will present “Bits and Pieces,” featuring Nutcracker favorites, performances from the Spring Gala, which had to be canceled, and an excerpt from La Bayader.

“This is the most celebrated excerpt in all of the full-length classical ballets,” said Colleen Benoit, artistic director and owner of the Lake Area Ballet Theater, “24 white tutus, very synchronized and in line, everyone doing the same thing at the same time beginning with 39 arabesques. It’s hard to do and it’s just amazing to see.”

In ballet, arabesque is a position where the body is supported on one leg, with the other leg extended direction behind the body with a straight knee.  

The dance of the Marzipan Flutes (from The Nutcracker) will celebrate and be performed by five seniors who will graduate this year: Alex Pierson, Fiona Heffernan, Caroline Broussard, Laura Christman and Madeline Bruno

Saturday, Dec. 5, the Barbe High School Drama Club will conduct a theater performance at 5 p.m. at the Transit Center Pavilion, 1155 Ryan St. The presentation will include highlights from Hairspray.  

On Saturday, Dec. 12 at 5 p.m., the Lake Charles Community Band will host a brass ensemble at the Transit Center Pavilion beginning at 5 p.m.  

“We are all missing the festivals and events that were canceled because of COVID. These events offer a safe, uplifting and inspiring outlet, a chance for us to highlight our brilliant local artists and jumpstart our creative economy in a safe way,” said Young. “And one of my favorite things about Art Six-Feet Apart is that it allows us to show off some of downtown’s underused common spaces, like the Transit City Pavilion with it’s fountain and seating.”  

“Our area is rich in culture, and the arts have the power to bring us together and give us a shared hope for the future,” said Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter.

The Virtual Mayor’s Arts Awards Ceremony, hosted in conjunction with Art Six-Feet Apart will be streamed on www.facebook.com/ArtsCouncilSWL beginning Dec. 7. Each day for seven consecutive days, an award winner will be announced by Mayor Nic Hunter, Arts Council President Morgan Turpin and Executive Director Devan Corbello. Categories include Artist of the Year, Citizen of the Arts, Citizen of the Humanities, Arts Educator of the Year, Artist Organization of the Year, Patron of the Year and the Keystone Award.  

Pre-registration is required, as each event will be limited to 50 in-person attendees. Registration can be completed at www.cityoflakecharles.com or by calling 337-491-9147. Each performance will also be streamed on www.facebook.com/historicalcityhallartsandculture.Art 6-Feet Apart is an outdoor cultural series spotlighting local artists and arts organizations.

Special to the American Press


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