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Herndon To Celebrate the Arts

Arts week geared toward appreciation.

The Council for the Arts of Herndon, for the 19th year, has decided it's time to go out and celebrate the arts once again through planned activities from Oct. 9 - 16.

"This is a celebration of the arts," said Maureen Ryan, executive director for the Council for the Arts of Herndon. "As the official umbrella of the arts in Herndon, we really like to celebrate our local artists."

The kickoff for the week-long celebration will begin Saturday, Oct. 9 with a formal auction of fine art at St. Joseph's Catholic Church Parish Hall.

"We have a professional auctioneer coming in from New York City as well as Ross Galleries from New York City," said Ryan. "There will be about 100 to 200 framed pieces of artwork and well known artists featured, as well as sports memorabilia."

Ryan said she asked the gallery to try and focus the sports work on the Washington Redskins and the Baltimore Orioles, in hopes to attract more buyers.

The auction, which is co-sponsored by the Council for the Arts and the Foundation for the Arts of Herndon, is the main fund-raiser for the two groups during the week's activities.

"Anything we can raise is going directly to the arts and students," said Ryan.

Money raise by the Council for the Arts goes toward scholarships they award local students, between 12- and 21-years old, to help fund future education in the arts.

Ryan said in the last four years, the council has awarded more than $20,000 to more than 20 students wishing to pursue training in the arts.

Ryan explained that the scholarships are awarded to those interested in all aspects of the arts.

"We include painting, dance, drama, film, graphic arts, orchestra and opera," said Ryan, adding each applicant is carefully looked over by a board before they select who will win the scholarship money.

"We just don't have a lot of money, so we can't give as much as we want," said Ryan of the amount of people who receive a scholarship each year.

On top of raising money through the auction to benefit the scholarship fund, the Foundation for the Arts will also take a potion of the proceeds to put toward the creation of the proposed Cultural Arts Center.

"The Foundation's only reason to exist is to build the Cultural Arts Center," said Melody Fetske about the Foundation's involvement in the event. "The money raised will go to the Foundation's efforts to get a Cultural Arts Center built."

Fetske said the Foundation really has little involvement in the art community other than trying to get a center built to house local artists, but she added that she is always happy to support the arts.

"Anytime a whole community can get together to celebrate the arts, that's a good thing," said Fetske. "Art brings so much to our lives that too often citizens don't appreciate what it does bring to a community."

Ryan said although this week is one of the main fund-raisers the council does to raise money for their scholarship program, she said it is also a way to tie the community into local art.

"We try to bring the community together by connecting artists with local business leaders," said Ryan. "It's really more of a celebration, it's something we thought the people here in Herndon would be interested in."