Fennelly: Get kids into the arts this summer

June 13, 2014 

Most folks -- especially kids in school -- spend the year yearning for summer. Well, now that it’s here, let’s make good use of it.

If you haven’t seen the current exhibition about black holes and the accompanying planetarium show at the Museum of Arts and Sciences, I urge you to place that high on your list. My 13-year-old was enthralled, as was I. As a bonus, Bug Day is scheduled for Saturday. Several other exhibitions also are on display, including “Emerging Artists,” which includes works by Macon artist Eric O’Dell.

With the newly renovated Discovery House and multiple captivating exhibitions, the MAS is in peak form. What the county’s Board of Commissioners needs to ponder is not slashing museum budgets but rather how to get the thousands of students who are aimlessly hanging out this summer transported to these places of awe and, yes, inspiration.

Theater calling

This weekend, Forsyth’s Backlot Players are presenting “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” while Macon Little Theatre and the youngsters in the theater camp operated by the Academy of Performing Arts are producing Ronald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka.”

Coming next weekend, Atlanta’s Academy Theatre will bring Theroun D’arcy Patterson’s “Origin Story” to the Douglass Theatre for two performances. The production, currently on its world premiere tour, is said to offer a powerful look at mental illness and the toll it takes on families.

There’s lots more theater coming in July, but meanwhile note the exciting opportunities coming up at both the Atlanta Shakespeare Company (also known as the New American Shakespeare Tavern) and the Georgia Shakespeare Festival (at Oglethorpe University). Both of these offer not only excellent entertainment but also a powerful way to ensure that your high school or college student has an enriching summer.

Let’s hope that folks turn out for Thursday’s Arts Advocacy Breakfast, especially representatives from the Board of Commissioners and members of the One Macon leadership team. The arts -- particularly music -- are as close to being a part of Macon’s identity as theater is of New York’s.

Helping hands

Tonight’s big Halluva Auction at the City Auditorium benefits the Museum of Arts and Sciences, NewTown Macon and the Sports Hall of Fame, while Sunday brings a benefit concert at Little Carnegie of the South.

Contact Larry Fennelly at LarryFennelly@avantguild.com.

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