East Texas Giving Day is April 24, 2018, and the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Center is encouraging you to take part in this once a year, eighteen-hour fundraising extravaganza. Non-profits like the Habitat for the Humanity and Harvest Texarkana are also participating with hopes to generate extra funds for their programs. Laney Bassham, Perot Texarkana, leads the initiative commenced by TRAHC.
The initiative is a means for TRAHC to reach new audiences, new markets, artists and new mediums of art. The fundraiser raises money and awareness for local nonprofits during the 18-hour online giving challenge. The idea is to inspire people to give generously to nonprofits making the region stronger, creating a thriving community for everyone.
This is a community with immense passion and a dire need to discover their identity. Texarkana has an arts and historical district that TRAHC is wanting to help cultivate. The way to help the community understand who they are and what they are capable of is to engage them with the arts and allow them to express themselves.
“We are losing an entire creative side of our society because people don’t fully understand what art is,” explained Tiffani Whitehead, Marketing Coordinator for Perot Theatre and TRAHC.
Whitehead discussed how art is for everyone, “it’s a matter of finding which avenue resonates most with the individual, anything expressive. You don’t have to like it, but you can attempt to understand the creative mind behind it and let it teach you something different,” she explained.
Whitehead is hoping to provide a venue for the youth in Texarkana to have a voice in how the community is formed. Art is a way for her to encourage that discussion.
TRAHC is trying to integrate the community into an entire project, like the idea of a talent show for all schools in the Texarkana area, to bring them to the Perot and have them compete and display the many talents of art they possess.
The plan is for TRAHC to emulate what other cities are doing, like Shreveport, and see where those concepts take Texarkana.
She wants leaders to take advantage of the assets the community already has, firmly believing a talent show is a great way to showcase what hidden skills Texarkana has that can help develop the culture of the community.
Membership is always key to the success of TRAHC; however, Whitehead is trying to identify new ways to enrich the programs and the community, like ideas such as East Texas Giving Day.
TRAHC reaches varying economic and cultural backgrounds, teaching people as young as 3 art from multiple genres, including theatre, literature, pottery, metalsmith, dance and more. Many of their programs are engaging and interactive, instilling confidence and cooperation among participants willing to learn and partake.
TRAHCs initiatives develop the future leaders of our community; in turn, those people impact the future identity of the Texarkana area. Without future generations taking an interest in the arts, the history of the community is at risk, as well as the future development of Texarkana.
Click HERE to donate to a Texarkana non-profit organization during East Texas Giving Day.