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S.C. Arts Council kicks off season

 

August 30, 2018

Declan Harris

PEER PRESSURE – Fire Creek guitarist Dan Miles was the center of attention from his coworkers from First Security Bank at the Sanders County Arts Council's fundraiser on Friday. The bank employees showed up at Big Eddy's Deck Bar with their families to dance and give Miles a hard time while stuck on stage.

In a move to support local music and promote their upcoming performing arts season, Sanders County Arts Council (SCAC) enlisted the help of D&D Good Time Music and Fire Creek Band. Both are local favorites who make the rounds in the county venues and help when they can for benefits and fundraisers.

To kick off their Tapestry Season of performances, SCAC booked Fire Creek Band to play Big Eddy's Deck Bar in Thompson Falls on Friday, and D&D Good Time Music on Saturday.

"We had a great turn out for both events and people really enjoyed the music," shared SCAC's Karen Thorson. "It was good to see local talent and local crowds out supporting them."

The purpose of the event was to sell the season ticket booklets, giving the council an estimate of how many will be attending their upcoming events. The booklets are $75 and include a "flex" ticket that can be used for a friend. The price is a much better deal than purchasing tickets at the door, and gives purchasers a guaranteed seat at the performances, often featuring world-renowned, accomplished artists.

Many who have attended have lauded the quality of artists SCAC is able to bring into the small county. Performances take place at venues such as the Rex Theatre in Thompson Falls and the newly remodeled Paradise Center, which also touts historic educational displays.

Many visiting performers agree to daytime side visits at local schools. Some artists agree to put on workshops or special presentations, sharing their talents.

SCAC chose "Tapestry" as the title of their performing arts series, describing the diversity of the six performances. They highlight that while each performance stands alone, their combined effect is greater than any single, stand-alone performance.

This kickoff was dubbed First Threads and was fitting since local music provided the first stitch of the banner performing this season.

Thorson reported that 16 ticket booklets were sold at Friday and Saturday's events. There was also a healthy chunk of donations received from those who support the council's purpose and appreciate their efforts.

D&D Good Time Music players include Dave and Deb Oliver, and they often feature talented musicians within their network to create side bands. The duo delivered their country, 50's and traditional tunes to a receptive crowd, and as expected from the couple, there were plenty of fun jokes as well as adoring eye-rolls from Deb as her husband let out his signature one-liners and anecdotes that seem like real stories until he drops the punchline. Deb has become an accomplished bass guitar and drum player over the past years to accompany Dave on his guitar, banjo or piano.

Fire Creek Band has been working together for a little over a year. Known for their harmonies and impromptu instrumental jams, the group features Jerry Lentz on drums, Dan Miles on guitar, Justin Harris on guitar and Zach Whipple-Kilmer on bass. Part of the crowd on Friday included Miles's coworkers from First Security Bank. The bankers took many opportunities to shower Miles with attention and poke a little fun. Being stuck behind his guitar playing, Miles could do nothing about it but laugh and blush as his band members egged on the good-natured hecklers.

SCAC supports performance as well as educational arts for adults and youth. Because they serve the entire northwestern Montana county, members of the Board of Directors are from various communities who come together to actively sponsor their passion. They are a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization and depend on grants, contributions, and volunteers to accomplish their goals.

With a mission to "enhance individual growth and community vitality through opportunities for artistic expression, learning, and appreciation," the council is responsible for the origins of the annual Baroque Music Festival in Paradise and a slew of regularly occurring events in the realm of visual arts. Literary arts are also a focus and an aspect of the council's efforts that is continually growing.

Tapestry season tickets are available online and can also be purchased at the SCAC booth during the Sanders County Fair. For more information contact Joy Nelson at 826-8585, or visit the SCAC website at sanderscountyarts.org.

 

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