Traditionally, our spring concert is based on a central theme, and involves a semester-long focus that builds towards that theme. In order to cultivate a sense of citizenship and community responsibility in our dancers, the OHS Department of Dance hosts a benefit fundraiser in connection with our theme. This great opportunity allows us to connect dance with the greater world around us and the societal issues we all face.
Read on to learn about the wonderful ways we have been making a difference!
March 2019, Broadway Bound
While Broadway Bound was meant to be an entertaining production that paid homage to the Great White Way, we also connected our theme to individual dreams and what our metaphorical “name in lights” would mean to each of us. We studied the way in which theater thrives on dreams and discovered Only Make Believe, an organization that creates interactive theater experiences for chronically ill and disabled children. Our community was able to donate over $600 to the organization and fund a trunk filled with handmade costumes and props for children in long-term hospitals.
OMB’s mission is to give joy and inspiration to as many sick children as possible. They bring professional actors into hospital wards to entertain children with specially created plays designed for their needs and to encourage their participation. We send teams of actors for six consecutive weeks with six different shows so the kids can get to know our actors and our actors get to know and love the kids.
The plays are performed against a simple backdrop with a trunk filled with costumes and props used by both actors and children. The painted trunks, all different and all painted by our wonderful volunteers stay in the hospitals as a permanent gift to be enjoyed long after the actors have finished their performances.
OMB is dedicated to the principle that engaging a child’s imagination is a valuable part of healing and learning. Therefore every child in the audience takes an active part in creating a world of fantasy and fun in order to transcend the boundaries of hospital walls.
March 2018, Seeking Refuge
As we focused on the idea of refuge and the human need for places of physical and emotional safety, we took the opportunity to pay attention to the current global refugee crisis. We partnered with the International Rescue Committee and The Spice Kitchen Incubator to provide an educational and entertaining evening for our community.
The representatives from the International Rescue Committee were amazed at the generosity of our community, and so excited and grateful to be a part of such an event. Together, we raised over $1,000 to directly aid newly arrived Refugee families in the Salt Lake area, and the Ahtti Korean Munchies food truck earned over $400 in just a couple hours! See below for more information about these great organizations.
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Each year, thousands of people, forced to flee violence and persecution, are welcomed by the people of the United States into the safety and freedom of America. These individuals have survived against incredible odds. The IRC works with government bodies, civil society actors, and local volunteers to help them translate their past experiences into assets that are valuable to their new communities. In Salt Lake City and other offices across the country, the IRC helps them to rebuild their lives.
SPICE Kitchen Incubator is a food business incubator focused on creating opportunities for refugees and disadvantaged individuals. The goal is to improve the chances of start-up and early-stage businesses of growing into healthy, viable companies. SPICE Kitchen Incubator ensures participants have affordable access to commercial kitchen space where they can learn commercial kitchen operations, proper food handling procedures, and the necessary steps to continue building their businesses.