March 27, 2013

By Barbara Baker

Northeastern Junior College has been providing some marvelous opportunities recently for those who enjoy the arts and culture. First it was the BYU dance troupe, then the Briar Cliff University Choir with world-famous pianist Richard Steinbach.  Next week you have several opportunities once again. The Utah Valley University Cultural Envoy Dancers from the Islands of Polynesian will perform on Thursday and Friday Nights, April 4 and 5th at 7 p.m. each night. They take the stage to do some hula, slap dancing and even fire knife dancing for a very affordable price at the door of $5 per person, $20 for a family pass that incudes up to 8 people.

But an even more special event is on the horizon. Lovers and supporters of the arts are encouraged to purchase tickets to the upcoming Grand Evening for the Arts event to be held April 6th.  The event, sponsored by the Northeastern Patrons of the Arts Society  (NPAS) is sure to be a special event in a new format. Tickets are being sold through Friday for an evening that includes a special dinner, entertainment, a take home art souvenir, a live auction and an after party complete with dancing and libations.

The newly transformed annual fundraiser for the Northeastern Junior College performing and visual arts department puts a new face on the old “Chili Arts Festival”  event.  The organizers promise a much nicer event and you won’t have to wonder how hot the main course will be.  

“After examining feedback from the past several years, A Grand Evening For the Arts promises to maintain the parts of the event that guests loved the most - while incorporating new and exciting features to create an incredible experience,” says Celeste Delgado-Pelton, one of the key people to run the event.  “This year guests will enjoy a multi-course, Italian, fine dining meal.  Among the items on the menu will be wild mushroom risotto, stuffed cannoli, and chicken valdestano.

This year the  Grand Evening for the Arts will,  as in the past, begin in the Hays Student Center Ballroom on the NJC campus.  Guests will still be treated to live art demonstrations by a ceramicist creating pottery and draftsmen creating live sketches.  There will once again be a concert featuring the best of the best from music, theater, and creative writing students.  Each guest will also take home a souvenir of the evening with a piece of handmade pottery; choosing from a selection of bowls, plates, mugs, decorative works, and other treasures.

To go along with this fine dining atmosphere, guests are asked to  wear formal or semi-formal attire.

In addition to the major change in the meal,  this year there will be an After Party held at Northeastern 18 from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Each guest at the After Party will be given drink tickets to be used for your beverage of choice.  There will be dancing all night to the sounds of a DJ playing hits from the past several decades as well as dancing to a set performed by the NJC Community Jazz Band.

A silent auction featuring artwork created by NJC faculty and students will also take place at the After Party.  All the money raised at the event will go to the Northeastern Patrons of the Arts Society (NPAS).  The goal and mission of NPAS is to support the Performing and Visual Arts at NJC as well as Northeastern Colorado.

In past years, funds raised from this annual fundraiser have been used to purchase a new ladder for the Peter L. Youngers Art Gallery, help fund the creation of the NJC New Voices Creative Arts Magazine, and to purchase recording equipment for the Digital Audio Workstation in the Music Program.

Tickets can be purchased through 4 p.m.  this Friday from KC’s Music and Electronics in downtown Sterling or from the Liberal Arts office in ES French Hall on the NJC campus.  Tickets for the Grand Evening for the Arts which includes food, entertainment, a take-home souvenir, dancing and drinks  are priced as follows: $40.00 for the meal and entertainment/souvenir event only; $20 for the After Party only;  or you may purchase tickets for both events for a special price of $50.00 per person.  Because this event features a special meal, for pre-planning purposes, tickets must be purchased by this Friday, March 29th.

If you have questions, please contact Celeste Delgado-Pelton at 970-521-6754 or celeste.delgado@njc.edu