Arts in Fanfare


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Fanfare celebrates the arts through performances like the dance concert “One Road: A Journey of Joy, Love, Hope and Faith.”

Zachary Araki, A&E Editor

Through theatrical productions like “Dracula,” lectures like “Your Best 10 Minutes,” art exhibitions like “Real to Not Real,” concerts and much more, Fanfare devotes the month of October to the celebration of arts, humanities and social sciences.

Director of Fanfare Roy Blackwood, executive director of the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, explained the history of Fanfare.

“Fanfare was begun in 1985 as a response to the Southeastern president canceling our football program,” said Blackwood. “Myself, Dr. Karen White and Harriet Vogt founded and developed Fanfare to provide a focused event around Homecoming even though there was no football game. We presented 30 events in the 31 days of October. This year, I have presented 26 events. It grew to a huge community event under the direction of Ms. Vogt.”

According to Blackwood, Fanfare’s popularity has decreased compared to when “money was flowing more freely.”

“Fanfare is not the financial juggernaut that it once was,” said Blackwood. “So, it is not as high profile. We spend a significant amount on advertising in print and radio and on the campus. Still many are not aware of our offerings. Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, Fanfare had a budget of many thousands of dollars that were raised by the director. That was before Columbia Theatre was opened, and much of that earlier money, raised annually, now goes to operating Columbia Theatre.”

According to the Columbia Theatre website, one of the main goals of the celebration is “to inspire students to incorporate the arts into their lives by exposing them to artistic diversity and introducing them to high standards of artistic excellence.”

Blackwood discussed the celebration’s importance to the university.

“It adds cultural events to the fabric of the university and community enriching the lives of all who enjoy the events,” said Blackwood.

Director of Dance Keith “Skip” Costa and his students choreographed the dance concert “One Road : A Journey of Joy, Love, Hope and Faith” as a part of the month’s celebration. Costa feels that events like Fanfare affect individuals of the society including those not directly associated with it.

“Art inspires change within individuals,” said Costa. “Even if it is not seen up close and personal, the impact of art can be felt in other ways of life outside of a dance studio, theater or gallery.”

Costa believes that over the past 40 years of its existence, Fanfare “reaffirmed how the importance of all disciplines within the arts is to our surrounding community and how vital it is for societal advancement.”

Blackwood feels that cultural enrichment is essential to the well-being of an individual. He is proud to have been a part of Fanfare since the beginning.

“Fanfare continues to provide thoughtful, high-quality entertainment and education opportunities for little or no cost to patrons,” said Blackwood. “It is a significant aspect of community enrichment and a program of which I continue to be very proud.”