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Group supports kids’ art

A child’s life without art would be unimaginable to Ninepipe Arts Group board member Ben Ferencz, and the sentiment is true for many art enthusiasts with the group, which is why they developed a fundraiser.

At the Leon Club House in Charlo on Saturday, group members held their annual fundraiser with a Valentine’s Day theme to help ensure that children in the Mission Valley get the chance to experience creative expression sometime in their lives.

“For 15 years, this group has worked to bridge the gap in arts education to support children interested in art,” Ferencz said.

And they figured, what better way to raise money for the arts than with art? Several artists donated paintings, sculptures, and drawings auctioned off during the event to the highest bidder.

The funds go towards the Summer Fine Arts Camp, Senior Scholarships, local Missoula Children’s Theater plays, school field trips, and Shakespeare in the Park.

“This year, we are working to bring Shakespeare in the Park back to St. Ignatius,” he said.

Second grade elementary student Madison Incashola attended the arts camp twice and she plans to go again this summer to learn more about art and spend time with friends.

“It’s fun to see how the creations turn out,” she said.

Madison said art camp is a place where she can discover new artistic outlets like costume making. She took a moment to imagine her life without art. “It would be really boring,” she said.

Students at the Charlo school were invited to use their creative skills to design the lighted decorations for the event. Plastic bottles of all shapes, sizes, and colors were manipulated into works of art. And a jazz group called “KC and the Valley Cats” played traditional jazz, swing and boogie-woogie tunes. Connie Plaissay worked the bar, and volunteers dressed in red served up desserts.

The Ninepipe Arts Group recently received their nonprofit status after completing a long paperwork-heavy application process.

“We as a group can generate money to do things for the love of art, and we have no vested interest,” Ferencz said. “It’s about having fun and helping kids express themselves.”

He said that anyone compelled to help the group’s effort is welcome to join or donate at anytime. They can be contacted through their Facebook page at Ninepipe Arts Group.

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