HRAC holds annual Membership Gala


Dancers from Fellom Ballet perform a piece from their "The Frog Prince" show at the Hammond Regional Arts Center's Annual Membership Gala.
Annie Goodman/The Lion's Roar

The Hammond Regional Arts Center hosted its Annual Membership Gala to thank its members for their support.

“The membership gala is our way of showing our appreciation for the members,” said Katherine Marquette, executive director of HRAC. “The Hammond Regional Arts Center is a community art center. We are funded through community support, so it’s these people inside that are so important to us because they help us keep our doors open.”




The gala was held on Friday, Apr. 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. The HRAC has been hosting this gala since it was founded in 1982.

“It’s all because of these people that are in this space right now that allow us to continue to thrive, the arts and culture to thrive here in the community,” said Marquette. “We have a tooth theme that kind of goes along with the artwork that goes along with the space, so we’re very excited to have Ms. Gina Phillips’ artwork, the ‘Roots of Memory’ exhibition. Every year we try to have the membership gala kind of connect in some way to the artwork that’s on the walls. So basically, you see the teeth in various décor and the Fellom Ballet that performed.”

As entertainment for their guests, the HRAC had dance performances and live musicians.

“On our program tonight, we have two performances from the Fellom Ballet Company with five wonderful dancers,” said Marquette. “The vocal performer tonight is William Dopp.  He is a very talented operatic singer. He has a scholarship going to Loyola in the fall. He is graduating from Loranger High School.”

Marquette enjoys gathering with current members and hopes to get new members as well.

“I really enjoy getting to see all of our members here in one place,” said Marquette. “This is the night that’s all about them. Like I said, it’s about us honoring and thanking them. So it’s a wonderful night full of friends and familiar faces. We’re very blessed to have the membership base that we do but always looking for new members. New members would be wonderful, and we would welcome them with open arms.”

Kelly Domiano, a choreographer for the dancers from Fellom Ballet used the choreography from their end of the year show, “The Frog Prince” at the gala.

“We adapted the choreography to reflect the artist’s work and our dancers are representing the good and mischievous tooth fairies,” said Domiano. “It was pretty exciting and fun choreographing their pieces.”

Guests were excited to see the performance from Fellom Ballet.

“We know a lady who is an amateur artist and she invited us to a show she had some pictures in, so that’s how we got involved,” said Ivy Smith, a member the HRAC for four years. “I think it’s just good to expose the public to art, let them know that there is a whole world out for their enjoyment in the art world. We actually wanted to see the ballet so we arrived a little late but I’m sure that will be very enjoyable.”

Dr. Martie Fellom, right, a professor in the fine and performing arts department attended the gala with her students.
Annie Goodman/The Lion's Roar

Artist John Perilloux converses with other members at the HRAC Annual Membership Gala.
Annie Godman/The Lion's Roar

Members of HRAC gathered at to eat food, enjoy musical and ballet performances and socialize at the HRAC Annual Membership Gala.
Annie Goodman/The Lion's Roar