Colonial's Birdland Raises Funds for Education and Outreach
Handcrafted birdhouses will be auctioned off on Saturday, Nov. 20 at the Colonial Theatre's fall fundraiser, Birdland Jazz and Silent Auction.
By Eve Alintuck
The Colonial Theatre is strutting its seasonal plumage as it announces its fall fundraiser, Birdland Jazz Silent and Live Auction. Benefiting the Education and Outreach programs at the Colonial, Birdland is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 20.
“Making the performing arts available to all audiences, including the youth of our community, is a cornerstone of our mission,” said Executive Director Alec Doyle. “Unfortunately, support for our education program is also the first to feel the effects of a down economy. The Colonial’s annual fall fundraiser bridges the gap in this critical funding.”
The hotbed of the Jazz scene, Birdland opened in New York City in 1949. Inspired by its namesake, the great Charlie “Bird” Parker, Birdland became the mecca for jazz musicians and celebrities alike.
Legends such as Count Basie, John Coltrane, Stan Getz and Miles Davis performed in the club before celebrity audiences including Ava Gardner, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and others.
Now Birdland reopens its doors on The Colonial stage in support of the programs that allow children of all ages and backgrounds to experience the wonders of live performance.
An evening of melody, rhythm and harmony, Birdland will feature a live auction with, appropriate to the evening’s namesake, birdhouses. Handcrafted and hand-painted artisan pieces, these woodland creations are works of art, all boasting differing themes by local artists.
Students from the MoCo Arts visual artists program will hand-paint another set of birdhouses that will be available during a silent auction. In addition, unique and one-of-a-kind services and vacations will be offered.
Participating artists include David Bulger, Molly Bulger, Nicole Caulfield, Sienna Giffin, Sally Hansel, Mary Iselin, Kathrine Piper, Craig Stockwell, Barb Tarantino, Jeanne Thieme and Karin Wells.
Hand-crafted birdhouses are being fashioned by the following wood artisans: Erick Ahnert, Joe Baute, Tim Campbell, Bob Englund, Andy Felegara, Jim and Paul Merritt, Ed Saleski, George Scott, Mike Secore and Daryl Stutes.
In addition to the artistic wares, the following services will feather Birdland’s nest: A sumptuous escape in the South of France, an exclusive five-day retreat in picturesque Franconia, flowers from In the Company of Flowers, an evening of “celebrity” exclusivity for you and 13 friends as you’re chauffeured in a stretch limousine to the April 16 Beatles tribute Twist & Shout, a themed cocktail party for 20 fully produced and executed by the Board of the Colonial Theatre and an opportunity to host a private event on The Colonial Theatre stage for up to 100 people – tech, sound and other accoutrements included.
Following dinner and libations reminiscent of the 40’s and 50’s, Birdland’s era, the evening will culminate as guests gather on the historic Colonial stage for live jazz and bebop. Much-beloved and ever-roguish John Round returns as Master of Ceremonies for Birdland, heralding the return of award-winning playwright and comedian, David Wolpe and his alter-ego Swichy Voisse.
Birdland will be held Saturday, Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $60 per person and include a stylish dinner and libations. Birdhouses will be on display in the Colonial Corner beginning the first week of November.
Guests are encouraged to adorn themselves in the dress of the Birdland Jazz Era…or in feathers! Contact the Colonial Box Office at 603-352-2033.
About The Colonial’s Education & Outreach Programs:
The Colonial is passionately invested in the cultural health of our community through our commitment to providing outreach for the underserved and educational opportunities for all ages.
The Student Matinee series offers high-quality performances that complement school curriculum and illustrate the dynamic relationship between the performing arts and literature, history, science, world cultures and other events that introduce art forms outside the curriculum.
The Student Matinee Series brings quality performing arts experience to an average of 8,000 children from more than 120 schools each year, and more than 1,000 children who are homeschooled.
“Being a parent of a child who has been in the Missoula Children’s Theater plays for several years, it has definitely been a plus for my daughter; I have watched her grow to be a child who enjoys the arts more and more every year,” said parent Tracey Lyons.
“She looks forward to participating in the play every year and would be disappointed if she could not be in the Theater plays every year. She has become more of a well-rounded child due to the programs offered through the Colonial Theater.”
The Colonial's workshop series for students and educators inspire participants in a variety of ways. Students deepen their understanding of and engagement in literature, history, world cultures and performing arts through artist led workshops and lecture demonstrations.
Post-performance and afterschool teacher workshops add to teaching strategies by exploring new techniques for using the performing arts to enrich curriculum. The Colonial Theatre is a 501©3 nonprofit organization.