Saturday, December 5, 2009

On behalf of all of us at The Performing Arts Center, I would like to welcome you to our second annual presentation of “The Gift” here at The Plaza del Sol Performance Hall. Thank you for taking time from your busy holiday schedules to be with us. And while on the subject; a special thank you to our friend, Tony Award Winning Actor Jay Johnson, who is graciously hosting our shows again this year. It is also his art that provides the design for the cover of our program. As is true for so many of you, I have no words to express our appreciation for his friendship and constant support. Before we begin today’s festivities, I have some exciting news to share.  Based on a brilliant idea from renowned dance educator, Joe Tremaine and the
National Children’s Leukemia Foundation, The Performing Arts Center has been chosen as one of only five studios in the country to institute a pilot program entitled, “Dance Power.” Its purpose is to enable seriously ill children and their siblings a chance to experience the energy and excitement of dance while restoring a sense of balance to the mind, body and spirit. We are so proud to be a part of what we are sure will become a national movement in our dance community to help these children regain a sense of control over their lives as they battle cancer, leukemia, and other blood disorders. I am sure that what we learn from these remarkable young people and their families will be much more than we could ever give to them. As the 13th Century Japanese philosopher Nichiren says, “ When you light a lantern for another, it will also brighten your own way.” I will look forward to sharing the progress of this amazing program with you all.

While it seems that each year has it’s own set of challenges, the constant strain of the California economy has filled all of our lives with additional complications. It is under these difficult circumstances that the parents of The Performing Arts Center have continued to make sure that their dancers and singers continue to have an opportunity to express themselves through art. They are each to be deeply commended. It is our sincere wish, as it is with each of our performances, that our show will refresh and inspire you in some way. As will be forever so, “The Gift” is dedicated to the memory of Jessica Rawles. May her many “gifts” be an endless source of our inspiration. May your holiday season be filled with your every wish and desire.

Nanci Hammond
Artistic Director