ARTS make us think about reality

What we did .  .  .  shows what we can do.

To put more ARTS into daily lives of Morgan county residents, FAST made grants to the New Bath Repertory Theater (for “Candida”), the Visual Arts Camp, the Adopt-a-School program, the Berkeley Springs Coalition of Performing Arts and the Virtual Universe Enterprises for “Nikola Tesla: Let The Sparks Fly”. We partnered with Pat Springer in creating a computer-aided piano laboratory program that could serve County children and adults. FAST sponsored an evening recital by soprano Morgan Harmison and made a travel award to her for advanced training. We sponsored a seminar by Tom Brooks on techniques and styles used by Shakespeare, and made a grant to develop an “Empowered Actor” project involving technological aspects of community communication arts.

We helped develop and print a program booklet about music of the Romantic Period for a local concert by the WV Symphony Orchestra. We made tuition grants for arts-related activity, supported the Morgan Arts Council’s scholarship fund and made several grants to buy sheet music for the Morgan County Community Band. FAST made a grant to assemble equipment to create and perform “electronica” at a public concert. Also, special awards were made in the County Fair Exhibit Contest for concepts of “Sound Bytes and Music” and for a handmade novel musical instrument. In 2009, FAST co-sponsored two songwriting contests with the Morgan Arts Council, the Morgan County Library and the WVU Extension Service. The Spring event made three awards from 17 entries about “Social Justice”. The Fall event made three awards from 10 entries about “Morgan County Life”.

For several years, we gave travel grants for student participation in the National Association of Teachers of Singing annual contest. Other grants helped support an art program for home-schoolers. For several years, FAST sponsored the Very Short Video Contest to stimulate creation of over a hundred 30-120 second videos that showed novel, interesting facts by combining substance with style. We annually awarded over $1,300 for Very Short Videos on arts, sciences, technologies and social studies. FAST collaborated with Pat Springer in sponsoring a concert plus master-classes by Morgan Harmison.

We supported a benefit concert by Alexander Marté, who joined with Pat Springer, the Living Springs Chorale and the Springs Chamber Ensemble to celebrate the repair of a violin that survived the transit from Nazi Germany to America. Taylor Haines received an advanced training award for dance and shared her new skills with the community at a dance recital in the fall. We joined with the Hancock Arts Council, the Community Choir and the G.G. Rink Memorial Scholarship Fund in sponsoring voice workshops and master-classes with opera singer and voice coach extraordinaire, Charles Williams.

FAST supported workshops on Circle Singing, attendance at a music camp, and a performance by the renowned Kanawha Tradition in the Concert in the Park Series. In partnership with the Hancock Arts Council, FAST supported the visit of the Bing Brothers to the area. We also made a travel grant to support producing an original play about the dangers of bullying. We continue supporting Morgan Arts Council’s Digital Workshop initiative with Morgan County schools’ diverse STEM projects to put A (for art) into a STE(A)M program.