Please grasp the extent of arts center's value

info@islandpacket.comDecember 21, 2012 

I'm a theater director. Maybe you've seen one of my shows at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina or my latest production, "Anything Goes."

Though I'm not officially an islander -- unless you're thinking Manhattan -- I have come to cherish Hilton Head Island and consider this beautiful gem my other home. So I want to weigh in on the importance of the arts center.

In a tough economy, it's easy to undervalue the significance of the arts. Likewise, an arts organization offering outreach, programming and events isn't always seen in the light of all that it provides.

The arts center isn't elitist. I want to dispel that misconception. It serves special groups, such as Programs for Exceptional People; offers programs, such as the Youth ArtsFest and the recent community tree lighting; and provides education outreach. Please grasp the extent of what's offered here.

From my perspective as a teacher, the arts center inspires the youth of this community, and for many, that has been a stepping stone to Broadway. Some of the most amazing talents have begun their careers on the fabulous arts center stage. I love that local residents work alongside Broadway performers and that we put on a great show for everyone.

You'd have to travel to Atlanta or Charlotte to see the level of professionalism we have here and then pay three times the price. Please realize what a special gift the arts center is and that, as a nonprofit, it needs your financial support.

Casey Colgan

New York City

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