Music, refreshments key stroll through downtown Cherokee
The Cherokee Institute of Performing Arts (CIPA), in conjunction with the Cherokee Arts Council, has created a special "Cultural Musical Event" scheduled for downtown Cherokee on Thursday, October 26.
The special night of music and camaraderie will link three supportive downtown locations that have embraced the magical potential of Cherokee's Cultural & Entertainment District and are eager to serve as melodious "bell cows" for the future growth of cultural events in the community.
Those three - the Gathering Place, The Copper Cup, and the Sanford Museum - are teaming to bring area music aficionados a special night of celebration next Thursday.
From 6-7 p.m. Thursday, October 26, coffee and hors d'oeuvres will be served at the Copper Cup on West Main Street, and those in attendance can listen to live music by guitarist/vocalist Randy Martin, a former member of the "Board of Directors" rock 'n' roll band from Sioux City, now living near Quimby.
Advance tickets for The Gathering Place event are $15 per person and are available at the Copper Cup, Sanford Museum, the Spice Rack, or from any Arts Council member. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the music education rooms now under construction in the lower level of The Gathering Place in the CIPA building.
All proceeds from the event will go directly to the music education rooms designed for public use in the CIPA building. There currently is a guitar instructor lined up for offering lessons in the CIPA facility, and organizers are in the process of recruiting other musical instructors for piano, strings, brass, percussion, flute, and vocal lessons. The lessons will begin as soon as the rooms are completed, according to Jim Davis, one of CIPA's founding fathers.
The idea for CIPA was originally hatched during the early days of Davis's return to Cherokee in 2002. Thursday night jam sessions at the Copper Cup in its former location in the historic, restored IC Railroad Depot were gaining momentum through the talents of local guitarists/vocalists Mike Hoover, Steve Thomas, and Davis.
At one of the sessions, Davis mentioned his desire about having a place for music and performing arts lessons in Cherokee. After he told his story, Davis quipped to others, "Quite the pipe dream, huh?"
At another jam session a few weeks later, an attentive "patron" introduced Davis to an attentive listener by the name of Brian Fulton, and the "patron" asked Davis to share his pipe dream idea.
"With the dream shared with Brian and the 'patron,' and more music played, we all went our ways and the rhythm of life continued," said Davis.
Months later, the "patron" contacted Davis to inform him of a news flash, that a building on West Main Street had been condemned and was to be put up for auction.
To cut to the chase here, that "patron" was none other than Jim Adamson, this community's Mr. Volunteer, a recent Citizen of The Year, and the major driving force in all things good happening culturally and musically in Cherokee.
With the groundwork laid, Davis, Fulton and Steve Thomas became partners in the Cherokee Institute of Performing Arts, LLP, with the purchase of the former Tristate Piano & Organ Company at 207 W. Main St.
Historical restoration of the building was not part of the original pipe dream, but soon became the canvas to paint the picture of what the partners hoped would follow.
CIPA formed to promote the "Arts" and to instruct and support those who possess such rare gifts. With declining school enrollments and budget cuts forcing educators to eliminate programs, among the first to go are usually performing arts programs. It is CIPA's hope that this gap in public education can be filled with community support, and by providing instructional facilities at little or no cost to instructors.
The idea of The Gathering Place reception hall on the main level of the CIPA building fit the criteria for potential income to pay the monthly bills, while allowing enough control of the space that other events of artistic nature could be scheduled such as recitals, concerts, art exhibits, community events, theater and plays.
According to Davis, the recitals represent the start of the fulfilment of the Pipe Dream.
Construction of the music education rooms began in June of this year. The cost of the total building renovation has required a considerable amount of money, time, and sweat equity. It was at this time that the partners and their many supporters turned to the family of local artisans to participate in the Pipe Dream. Benefit concerts by local musicians and donations of time and money from friends and family has helped create a healthy, contagious atmosphere of musical education and performances in Cherokee.
Area residents need to support all future musical and cultural events such as the planned special night of music and reverie Thursday, October 26, to help make Davis's Pipe Dream a reality.