Chipola faculty to speak at Sept. 18 CRAA meeting

The guest speakers are Chipola faculty Connie Smith (left) and Dr. Rachel West

MARIANNA—The Chipola Regional Arts Association (CRAA) kicks off its 29th year of enhancing the arts and arts education on Tuesday, Sept. 18, at noon at Jim’s Buffet in Marianna.

The guest speakers are Chipola faculty Connie Smith and Dr. Rachel West who will be speaking on the status of the Chipola Technical Theatre Program and students who are working in the field. Additionally, they will share about the World War II letter project which will culminate in a Chipola Artist Series event on March 14, 2019.  The event is a collaboration among Chipola, FSU’s Institute on World War II and the Human Experience, and the Northern Illinois University School of Theatre and Dance.  Monologues will be created from the scores of WWII letters from the Institute. Writers will be brought to life by the actors from Northern Illinois University.

Smith also will be introducing opportunities with the Volunteer Group which is being formed to assist in all facets of production support – from preparing scenery and costumes to assisting backstage.

Smith, who has worked in theatrical design and technical production for 30 years, serves as Director of Technical Theatre for the Center for the Arts where she is responsible for Scenic/Lighting Design and Technical Direction of all productions. She has designed scenery for University of Mobile, University of South Alabama, and community theatres in the Southeast.  She holds a BFA in Theatrical Design & Technology from Auburn, an MS in Recreational Therapy (Expressive Arts) from the University of South Alabama, and an MFA in Theatre Technical Production FSU. She has served as the Job Fair Services Manager for the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) since 2001.

Dr. West is in her 27th year of teaching English at Chipola.  She earned a BA in Literature from FSU, a master’s in literature from the University of Central Florida, and a PhD in Higher Education from FSU.  She is coordinator of Chipola’s Throssell Literature/Language Festival. She presents at conferences, and assists in creating the technical theatre curriculum at Chipola.  She has also begun
teaching Script Analysis as part of the technical theatre track.

CRAA is a volunteer organization under the umbrella of the Chipola Foundation. The group works to enhance the arts in the district and offers mini-grants to teachers in the arts. CRAA contributes to the Artist Series which brings in professional performers to the Chipola stage, supports the college’s theatre program through the ACT Fund, and provides children’s programming in the arts for area students.
CRAA meetings are open to the public. All are welcome to enjoy the programs and Dutch-treat luncheon.

For information, contact Joan Stadsklev, CRAA President, at 482-7365.