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Remembering year 1 of Vernon Arts Council

BILLY CRAWFORD
Guest Contributor

The research for this series would be impossible without the online use of the Vernon Parish Library's digital archives. 

Mr. Howard Coy and the Library Board members are to be commended for providing this easy access to Vernon Parish history. Otherwise, it could have been easily lost over time. 

The first membership drive of the Vernon Arts Council opened at an executive board meeting of the Council when the president, Mrs. Bobbi Kitts, gave the treasurer, Dr. H. L. Russell her check for a charter membership and received a membership certificate and tickets to the performances scheduled for the 1975-76 Year. Memberships were available to everyone in the parish at the cost of  $10 for individual and $30 for Sponsors.

The Vernon Arts Council was organized to bring the arts in all their varied forms to the people of the community with three performances this first year. 

Bobbi Kitts stressed that the VAC if for everybody! 

A need for volunteers was discussed at the meeting. Among the early volunteers who represented local schools were Faye Ellis, Jerri Smith, Marjorie Anderson, Olivia McKee, and Lanny Larch.

Three performances were scheduled for this first year. 

The Messiah was performed in the Leesville High School auditorium in December. The choir was composed of voices from all over Vernon Parish. Mrs. Marjorie Anderson and Mr. Gene Davis were the directors. The performance was free and open to the public.

In January, the North Carolina Theater, a professional company with 15 dances arrived in Leesville. The company members spend two and a half days in residency in Leesville where they gave lectures and demonstrations to Vernon Parish students and teachers.

On the third night the dancers performed for the Vernon Parish community in the LHS auditorium.

The following spring a festival in the Bicentennial Theme, a history of American Music, was presented by local singers. It also was performed in the LHS auditorium.