Interior Landscapes: A Celebration of Excellence

Saginaw Arts & Science Academy Auditorium & Gym Showcased in Gala Event October 16th

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Theatre, Culture, Community Profiles,   From Issue 712   By: Robert E Martin

07th October, 2010     0

“On the inside – things are changing
Some replace and some remain
Rearranging, redefining
Interior: a word of our designing”
When we pause to look around us,
Where our choices & experience have found us,
Is a landscape, boundless,
And we see there is no limit to surround us.”

Michael Brush, Interior Landscapes

As the recently retired and former voice & keyboard instructor at the Saginaw Arts & Science Academy, Michael Brush is equally proud and reflective about the spanking new state-of-the-art theatre and performing arts center that will properly be presented to the community in a gala Open House Celebration entitled Interior Landscapes: A Celebration of Excellence on October 16th from 6:00-9:00 PM.

“This new center has been a long time coming,” notes Brush, “yet I am glad that with the new space it will also have a young performing arts staff in place that can grow with this new space.”

Brush will be performing an original composition that he penned for the gala celebration, along with SASA students and alumni from all performing arts disciplines, in a special one hour program that, according to Brush, works as a “landscape of kids from 6-12th grades, articulating the changes that take place in life as a journey of growth.”

In addition to this original performance opus, the evening will includes hors d’oeurvres and desserts featured in the new auditorium and gymnasium, with all proceeds used to fund a SASA Foundation.

The minute one steps into this spacious new 500-seat performance environment one is taken with not only the quality of construction, but also the attention to detail that went into the design. The acoustics are impeccable, the stage spacious, and the sound & lighting breathtaking.

“Over the years this project has gone through many levels of planning,” explains Brush. “One plan called for it to be built on the river surrounded by a grounds that looked like a little college campus, but significant decisions entered into play as to whether is would be wise to have students crossing the street, whether to level the building, or whether to build onto the existing building. Everything was up for discussion, but I’m very pleased with this final result.”

According to Katie Beltran and Cathleen Veverka, two volunteer organizers for the October 16th Gala Opening, the celebration will begin with a walk-in and hor d’oeurves and social hour, followed by the performance of Interior Landscapes, which will feature students from all three performing arts sections involved at SASA. “This isn’t just one concert or show and we wanted it to be an all encompassing event,” notes Cathleen. “It’s the first time the theatre is really going to be unveiled, so we wanted to bring all students and faculty together and get as many people on stage as possible.”

As for the theme, Brush explains that instructor “Becky Sullivan used the theme Interior Landscapes a few years ago for a visual arts show, and we liked it because it carries a double meaning. I wrote a song for this event that we’ll use to help explain what it is we’re talking about, which is mainly interior growth, not only of SASA but more importantly, the students.”

As theatre instructor Colleen Cartwright sees it, “Because the program is geared towards this theme all different ages can be represented; and alumni will be coming back as well to perform. We’ll also feature a video segment showing where many of these students are now. Additionally, different concentrations of the math, science, and each department will have their work displayed around the new gym, so everybody at SASA is represented and displayed.”

Tickets and sponsorship levels for this October 16th event begin at $25.00 for an individual ticket and go all the way up to $5,000 for 12 tickets and a full page program ad, with all proceeds tax deductible and going to help develop the SASA Foundation.

 “Lots of schools have foundations,” explains Katie, “but SASA does not have one yet, so our goal is to develop this fund to help with the school’s needs. If there is a special need in a particular department, the fund can help cover the costs for the improvement.  A foundation board will be developed after this initial event takes place and the fund will be administered through the Saginaw Community Foundation.”

Both Katie and Cathleen have been serving on the Foundation Board and say their goal is to raise $10,000, as the fund will then self-perpetuate on various projects. “We already have about $6,000 raised, but need $10,000,” notes Cathleen, “so this event is part of that goal as well. We want to send out a big thanks to the community and district, but also get this endowment funded.”

“Looking back, I have kids that attend SASA,” reflects Katie, “and my vision when my 6th grader came here was that they could have a gym and a performing arts space, similar to what kids in other districts have. Seeing that come to fruition now is very gratifying.”

“I’m talking to kids at Handley that are 5th graders now,” adds Cathleen, “because Handley is a big feeder school for SASA. And the kids are just as much a part of this creative process as we are, so it’s amazing to see what they come up with if you leave them to their own devices.”

“As people start seeing and using this space, it will grow and evolve,” adds Colleen. “My hope is that through the theatre program here at SASA and the new space and gym we can start to collaborate with the community and really plug in and get everybody involved in education and arts processes for all the kinds here in this amazing town.”

“Basically, we went from a horse and buggy to a Lamborghini in the course of a year, and I’m very excited to see where we go!  This opening performance is something we created from scratch. Some of the songs are original and some are not, but its almost like a big finale about what SASA is all about – music, oratory, theatre, visual arts, and never ending possibilities.”

To order tickets or pledge sponsorships for the SASA Foundation ‘Interior Landscapes’ Celebration on October 16th, you are encouraged to call Katie Beltran at 989-385-3481 or Cathleen Veverka at 989-245-2682.


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