Art, magic and much more at DCCA event


By Marilyn Delk


Darke County Center for the Arts delighted local junior high and high school students during the past two weeks with presentation of masterful artists who engaged, entertained, and educated their audiences. On October 19 and 20, ArtRageous worked its magic performing at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall for seventh and eighth graders from all local schools, producing delightful works of art while singing, dancing, playing musical instruments and teaching about the value of artistic pursuits to individual lives and the world.

As paint was being smeared on a large canvas on stage, the audience was cautioned about just using one color and not noticing the wide range of colors available to them. “You are in control of your day—and you can make it whatever you want it to be,” said the emcee before launching into a song urging the audience to “Do whatcha do!” The audience, enthralled by the song and dance number, hardly noticed that a figure was emerging on the canvas, but when the music stopped and the freshly painted portrait of boy wizard Harry Potter was revealed, the crowd went wild—and not for the last time!

The students learned that famed artist Vincent van Gogh once said “The most artistic thing to do is to love people,” then were treated to a harmonious rendition of “Everybody’s Lookin’ for a True Love,” before being told, “Now it is your turn to shine.” As volunteers joined the performers on stage to be coached into a short performance of their own, the celebration became even livelier as the stage and auditorium was suddenly flooded with confetti, streamers, and dancing bubbles. And once again, the students erupted in excitement and applause.

The ArtRageous troupe continued to lead the students to discover the music and dance-moves dwelling within themselves, and reinforce the truth that the arts are really good for you. While the audience joined in singing and dancing, a red, white, and blue painting of an American eagle was created onstage, and greeted with great enthusiasm. Next about 40 students joined the artists on-stage to creatively move and sing and “Go totally ArtRageous!”, demonstrating the power residing within everyone to access the opportunities presented through the arts.

During the week following the appearances by the ArtRageous troupe, award-winning entertainer David Anthony brought his motivational magic to high school students in all local schools. After establishing that his audience was ready to have a good time, the magician drew a black dot on the paper, and asked the students what they saw. When they responded that they saw a black dot, he pointed out that by focusing on that small block dot, they were missing all the empty space around it. “By focusing on one small thing, we forget about everything else, missing all the potential” he said. And then a purple bowling bowl dropped out of the paper!

Reviewing his life journey as he performed amazing feats of prestidigitation, David explained that at age 11 he walked into a magic shop where “the shelves were packed with amazing things,” performed his first professional magic show at age 12, and then knew that he wanted to perform magic for a living. He earned degrees in business management and entrepreneurship, but following graduation has traveled the world with his performances. The entertainer then exhorted his audience to never say, “I can’t,” because words matter, even if they are simply thought.

David explained that life is like a GPS; even though we may make a wrong turn, get off track— in life, taking detours is normal. Then a ten dollar bill was wadded up, stepped on, torn apart, made to vanish and reappear, demonstrating that the value of the currency did not change, and delivering the powerful message that our value as a person never changes—a truth giving us the courage to follow our dreams after defining our goals, then acting on those choices. After closing his show with another impressive magical demonstration, David Anthony was bombarded with wild applause—a concluding magic moment for all!

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