An invitation to support arts programs with your time and talents

By on November 7, 2013

by Maria Dripps-Paulson
KAI Initiative executive director

October was a full month for the Kaneland Arts Initiative (formerly the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival). The 2013-14 season started with two exciting performances that were very different from each other.

On Oct. 11, the Kaneland Arts Initiative (KAI) hosted Las Vegas magic act Garry and Mihaela Carson, who performed the “Magical Mystery Show” to the delight of the approximately 200 audience members attending the event. On Oct. 26, KAI was pleased to bring the Fox Valley Concert Band to the Kaneland Auditorium for the Fox Valley Concert Band’s Halloween Concert, which played to an audience of approximately 120.

Here are comments that volunteer members of KAI heard from those who attended the events:
• “(The magician) was really good. I mean, really, really good.”
• “I have been to all of your events, and they never disappoint.”
• “Thank you for bringing these types of performances to Kaneland.”
• “It’s great to hear wonderful live music like this in an amazing space.”
• “I cannot wait to see (these groups) again next year.”
• “I wish more people would come to these events. They really are amazing.”

In fact, KAI rarely hears a negative comment from audience members who attend KAI events, and 100 percent of the performers who take to the stage are willing and excited to come back to perform in Kaneland again.

We know that we are offering great arts programs to our community by the response the patrons give us who have attended an event, and by the eager requests to return that we receive from our performing artists. However, it is often difficult to assess when attendance at events is low. The Kaneland Arts Initiative provides a unique and affordable opportunity to experience the arts, and we invite every community member to partake in these events.

While two events on the KAI calendar have passed, there are many more still to come. By checking out the KAI website,, you will not miss another event.

Another way to support arts programs is to volunteer. Our volunteer coordinator, Laura McPhee, is fabulous at finding the perfect way for you to serve within our organization. We welcome volunteers of almost every age, and can use help with ushering and planning, as well as building and designing. Contact Laura at or by calling (630) 365-5100, ext. 180.

We invite you to support the arts at the following upcoming Kaneland High School and Kaneland Arts Initiative Events:

• “Almost, Maine,” the Kaneland High School fall play, directed by Christina Staker, will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 15-17, at KHS Auditorium. Tickets are on sale now at
• Auditions for The Laramie Project, the KAI Winter Theatre Production, directed by Diane McFarlin, will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 6 p.m. in the KHS Black Box Theatre. More audition information will be available soon at

The arts are a vital part of life, and Kaneland has so many wonderful programs offered throughout the year. We hope that you will accept our invitation to support them.

Editor’s note
The above community-submitted column is one part of our broader mission to help our readers connect with their communities. If you or your organization would like to be part of our Community Corner initiative, please contact Editor Keith Beebe at Please note that no for-profit or elected officials are eligible to be part of the Community Corner.