SEABROOK – Many of us think of the arts in terms of entertainment and pleasure, but two recent events in our area demonstrate the arts and artists can promote humanitarianism and social betterment.
On Sept. 21 and 23, Living Independently for Everyone, Inc. (LIFE) hosted its third annual Fall Art Showcase. This nonprofit organization offers programs and services which promote self-sufficient living among individuals with disabilities, addressing needs in the disability community through inclusion in facilitating cultural, educational and recreational access.
The art showcased in Bowie over the weekend gave individuals of all abilities an opportunity to present their artwork for personal fulfillment and, in some cases, profit. Visitors to the exhibition took pleasure in discovering art pieces originating in the immediate community which celebrated inclusiveness. Sponsors and partners for the Fall Art Showcase included Revere Bank, Columbia Bank and Prince George’s Community Resources.
Another recent event in our region involving arts in service of community was D.C. Actors for Animals, a group of theater professionals working on and off stage at some of the area’s major theater venues. Their annual adoption event, Beltway Barks, was held at the Rockville Town Square on Sept. 15. The Prince George County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was present with adoptable animals.
Lisa Carrier Baker, founder and president of D.C. Actors for Animals said this year’s Beltway Barks, modeled after an annual event in New York called Broadway Barks, was a success.
“We are thrilled that Beltway Barks was our most successful event yet, despite threats of bad weather. Many thanks to all who came out to support our cause,” Baker said.
For the past six years, the D.C. Actors for Animals board members have traveled to New York every summer to help Broadway veteran Bernadette Peters run the Broadway Barks event.
Peters has commented that the Beltway Barks event helps “informs Washingtonians about the plight of the thousands of homeless dogs and cats in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, and that will save lives!”
Programs such as D.C. Actors for Animals and the Annual Art Showcase of LIFE to place artists and art at the forefront of community involvement in our region.