Student art, music and more will be on display in downtown Jamestown on Saturday night.
Infinity Visual and Performing Arts Inc. will host its annual Spring Showcase, beginning at 7 in the Reg Lenna Civic Center. The event will follow a student art exhibit and open house, which will begin at 5:30 across the street from the Reg at Infinity.
According to Shane Hawkins, Infinity's executive director, the organization has strived to showcase the artistic growth of its students. In recent years, Infinity has hosted a 90-minute spring show in addition to its weekly Friday night student performances.
Students from Infinity Visual and Performing Arts Inc. are seen on stage at the Reg Lenna Civic Center during last year’s Spring Showcase. This year’s event will be held Saturday beginning at 7 at the Reg, preceeded by an exhibit and open house at Infinity.
Jamestown Community College's Scharmann Theatre originally hosted the showcase. The event grew in popularity over time, leading Infinity to seek a new venue despite its close working relationship with the college.
"We'd held many concerts at the Reg Lenna in the past, and felt that due to our growing number of students and audience members, and the Reg's close proximity to the Infinity Center, it would be an excellent and logical Showcase venue," Hawkins said. "Last year was our first student art exhibit and open house. We had just renovated the studio, and held our grand opening of the art and dance space on the night of Spring Showcase. We had a fantastic turnout, as well as a great display of student artwork, and decided that the art exhibit and open house was a great way to not only showcase our music students during Spring Showcase, but also our art students and the facility."
Infinity staff and board members will give tours of the facility during the open house. Admission to the art exhibit will be free and open to the public from 5:30-6:30. Students ages 18 and under will have artwork on display. Genre, subject and media will vary widely. A highlight of the art show will be the ArtFusion LED light box kits created by Infinity students.
What: Infinity Spring Showcase
When: 7 p.m. Saturday (exhibit and open house beginning at 5:30 p.m.)
Where: Reg Lenna Civic Center,
116 E. Third St., Jamestown (exhibit and open house to take place at Infinity, 115 E. Third St.)
How much: $6 ($5 presale); exhibit/open house, free
For more info: 664-0991 or 484-7070
When the festivities move across Third Street, Infinity student bands, ensembles and soloists will perform. Jazz, blues, reggae, folk and world music will be featured. New this year, the showcase will include a performance from Infinity's student-run drama club. Throughout the night, approximately 40 students will perform in various capacities. They've been working toward Saturday since January.
"We try to keep the dynamic different all throughout the evening because it keeps the audience on their toes and intrigued by the idea of what might come next," Hawkins said. "Students are picked for ensemble participation based on not only their skill level, but soft skills such as attitude, effort and attendance. They all understand that ensemble participation is a privilege to be earned, and that it also requires a much higher level of commitment to practice. Each and every ensemble member and soloist that is showcased is extremely talented, and they're just the tip of the iceberg. Our goal is that the audience members leave the theater that evening wanting to see more of what our students have to offer."
Local improv comedy troupe The Unexpected Guests will entertain the audience throughout the evening. The troupe will host the event.
"The Unexpected Guests are great people and have always been very supportive of what Infinity offers to the community," Hawkins said.
"Many of the members are involved throughout the year with Infinity on many different levels, such as teaching at Infinity, being a member of our board of directors, or volunteering to help us with idea brainstorming or at fundraisers throughout the year," she added. "They care about our community, are very knowledgeable about what Infinity offers, and they always keep the audience engaged and entertained throughout the evening."
Much like the annual Local Music Showcase, the Spring Showcase helps Infinity make ends meet and offer programming throughout the year. Saturday's event will give community members a look at how Local Music Showcase funds are used to improve the quality and quantity of creative opportunities for students, Hawkins said.
"It gives the community a chance to see what the students attending Infinity are capable of achieving," she said. "It gives the students a goal date to work towards and prepare for, and all proceeds from the event and raffle drawing directly benefit music and arts instruction at the Infinity Center, which in turn helps us expose our students and local school children to more and more opportunities."
Drawings will be held for gift baskets during the event. Pre-sale tickets for the Spring Showcase are available at the Infinity Center by calling 664-0991 or at the Reg Lenna Box Office by calling 484-7070. Pre-sale tickets are $5. Tickets will be $6 at the door. Admission to the Showcase is free of charge to all students ages 18 and under.
"Many students in that age range may not have opportunities to see live, local music, and we want this event to be affordable to families and accessible to all children who are interested in the arts," Hawkins said. "This event is a celebration of youth and the arts. Too often the media carries the message of wayward youth and negative news about youth behavior; this event shows that kids are capable of amazing things and hopefully will inspire children in the audience to imagine possibilities and challenge themselves to work hard towards their own goals."
For more information, visit infinityperformingarts.org.