Performathon to raise money for scholarships

By Jessica Cabe

Marathons are often used as fundraisers, but participants aren’t always known for their great athletic skills.

Luckily, the NIU Community School of the Arts came up with the Performathon, a day-long fundraising event featuring concerts and art exhibits in the effort to raise money for scholarships.

The Performathon is from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the Music Building. Although entrance into the event is free to the public, donations are encouraged.

The Community School of the Arts is a part of the College of Visual Arts and offers programming for community members.

“What we are is kind of like an ambassador for the university,” said Deborah Booth, director of the Community School of the Arts. “We’re seen as important to the college for that reason.”

The school offers programs for both children and adults, Booth said. Courses offered include early education music classes, private lessons, ensembles and adult classes for guitar, piano and other instruments.

High quality music and art education for a low cost is offered by the school; scholarships are available for students each year. All of the money raised during the Performathon goes toward need- and talent-based scholarships.

There are many different fundraising aspects to the Performathon that make it such a huge success. First, students who wish to perform at the event are required to raise some money. Many of them accomplish it by mailing pledge sheets to friends and family.

There will also be a bake sale, with all proceeds will go toward the scholarships, as well as a used music swap. People donate old sheet music, CDs, instruments, stands and other music items to be sold at the event.

Local businesses play a large role in fundraising through advertising and donating prizes for the raffle, which is also a great money-maker for the school.

This year participants have the opportunity to win a violin painted by Anna Kennedy.

“Anna Kennedy is the mother of one of our young violin students,” Booth said. She said Kennedy has painted violins before and came to her with the idea to raffle off a painted violin. Coincidentally, someone had donated a violin to sell at the used music swap, so Kennedy was able to paint it.

“I wanted the violin to represent the NIU Community School of the Arts,” Kennedy said in her artist statement. “I wanted to come up with something unique that each child taking lessons here can identify with. I incorporated the collage colors red, white and black to give it the school spirit.”

Regardless of anyone’s major, the Community School of the Arts is available as a service to everyone in the NIU and DeKalb community.

“Everyone gets in their own little worlds, and they forget what’s on campus that they can take advantage of,” Booth said.