We create our memories with the arts. And that is the purpose for our rally.
Fountain Inn Chorale Director Jane Birmingham Morlan opened the event with a reminder of what the arts mean to supporters in Fountain Inn, and asked that the arts be kept as the heartbeat of the community.
Morlan then directed the Fountain Inn Chorale’s performance of the National Anthem–a special version created by South Carolina native Dr. Robert Edgerton.
Don Nixon, Chairman of the Board for the Fountain Inn Symphony Orchestra, spoke on the history of the orchestra and expressed the group’s support for the Younts Center for Performing Arts. He credited community support for establishing and growing the orchestra into the organization it is today.
Nancy Burkhard of the Fountain Inn Repertory Experience, known as FIRE, spoke about the history of the organization and described how the group has impacted the community. “On the Younts Center Stage, I have seen children discover their passion and go on to major in theatre and music education. I’ve seen adults relearn how to be creative and have fun, and in turn use those skills to become more successful at their jobs. I’ve seen kids and adults who are terrified of the stage grow into articulate public speakers and polished leaders. I’ve watched adults find new ways to bond with their children after being in a show together.”
SC State Representative and Fountain Inn native Mark Willis addressed the crowd in support of the Younts Center. He acknowledged Melvin and Dollie Younts’ founding gift, and the community support that help establish the arts center in the city.
“We want to keep it a part of our community,” Willis stressed, and was met with applause when he stated that the arts have been an economic driver for Fountain Inn.
Willis also encouraged attendees to make their voices known, and to contact their council members.
Most of the cast of FIRE’s recent performance of Godspell was in attendance, and sang a fitting number from the production about “building a beautiful city.”
G.P. McLeer closed the rally asking people to speak at the council meeting, to eat and enjoy downtown, and to continue supporting the arts in Fountain Inn.
Around 100 people were at the event held at Fountain Inn’s City Hall. Melvin Younts was in attendance, along with members of the Younts Center Board.
The final reading of Fountain Inn’s 2017-18 Budget will be held on June 8 at the regular council meeting. Citizens that would like to speak must call city hall by noon on Friday, June 2. That number is 864-862-1090.