Updated: Mar 7
Support from community enables continuation of popular education and scholarship programs.
Once again, supporters and patrons of the Oconee Performing Arts Society (OPAS) have shown their commitment to the arts and arts education by attending the organization's fundraiser, Soiree en Blanc & Noir, benefitting OPAS. Among our many education initiatives are our Performing Arts Scholarships, for which OPAS will be accepting applications from students beginning Jan. 15, 2023.
The exciting and unique Soiree en Blanc & Noir fundraiser was an elegant black and white-themed event based on the renowned worldwide French Diner en Blanc phenomenom. Like Diner en Blanc, the location of the event is kept a secret until the last minute. For OPAS Soiree en Blanc & Noir, attendees received an address on the day of the event and were directed to Barrell 118, a beautiful venue in downtown Eatonton. The gorgeously renovated event space built in 1900 was transformed with stunning decor expertly arranged by OPAS staff and a dedicated group of volunteers.
With wonderful attendance, Soiree en Blanc & Noir raised funds for OPAS and the organization's Arts Education initiatives, which include the OPAS Lesson Bank, the OPAS Youth Chorus, the OPAS after-school theatre and music camp with Atlas Academy, the sponsorship of the Greene County Arts Showcase, the sponsorship of 20 scholarships for the "Broadway Intensive" held each summer at The Plaza Arts Center, and numerous Performing Arts Scholarships.
"I'm constantly humbled by our community," says OPAS Artistic Director Doug LeBrecque. "When we ask for support for our programs, there is no hesitation. This event was no different. It makes me feel proud and excited for the future of the arts that we're able to support young people in pursuit of their artistic passions and goals. We have so much to look forward to, thanks to our community.
In 2023, the OPAS Performing Arts Scholarships will be open to students as they continue their degree in performing arts. In the past, the scholarships were available only to students in their freshman year. Now, OPAS will consider current college performing arts students as they extend their college studies. OPAS will begin accepting applications on Jan 15th, with a deadline of April 15th. Students can access the application on our website.
Other support for the OPAS education programs comes from the performers themselves. Micael Feinstein, who appeared at OPAS on Feb. 4th, has generously supported arts education throughout his career and will be giving back a portion of his fee to support OPAS. Lisa Vroman, the longest-running Christine in Phantom of the Opera history, recently taught masterclasses to Greene County and Putnam County voice students. She is currently on the OPAS voice faculty as part of the newly-formed Lesson Bank program that pairs qualified students with world-class teachers in a virtual environment. OPAS Members have generously purchased tickets for more than 30 students to attend and meet the guest artist at one of their Mainstage concerts.