Letter: Arts Alive! Barrington should be praised for its work


To the editor:

Too often it seems we are quick to criticize and slow to praise. We have so many things to be thankful for in this town, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it from reading the letters to editor section of the Barrington Times.

In the spirit of redressing that imbalance, I would like to publicly thank Arts Alive! Barrington, Dena Davis, Kimberly Durkin, Kirsten Davis, and all the parent and community volunteers and school staff who helped make the recent Hampden Meadows School production of Broadway Rules! such a wonderful experience for my whole family.

My son Will has participated in Arts Alive! productions for the past three years, and I have seen him grow so much intellectually and emotionally as a direct result of his involvement in theater and the expert and caring guidance he has received from the Arts Alive! staff.

I’ve read many times about the value of the performing arts in childhood cognitive development, but I never fully appreciated its importance until I saw my son’s enhanced memory skills, attention span and growing self-confidence for myself. Beyond that, I have never seen him happier or more at ease around his peers than during the rehearsal and production period for Broadway Rules!

It was also inspiring to me to see how dedicated the parents of this town are to the welfare and happiness of all the children in it. Parent volunteers such as Sarah O’Brien, Chelsey Barton-Karnes, Kristen Materne, Kerri Payne, Darlene DeRosa, Heather Navarro, Patrick McAloon, Jane Knight (who worked tirelessly on costumes even though she didn’t have a child in the play), Erin and Keith McManus, Kristin “Gracie” Mitchell (the fantastically talented building intern at HMS) and many, many others (to those I am overlooking, forgive me, your work is appreciated!) all lent their unique and considerable talents to the production and deserve praise.

I have never felt more like a part of a thriving, caring community than when working with these fellow parents and the staff of Arts Alive! to create the best possible theater experience for the children of Barrington. Words cannot express how rewarding the experience was for my whole family, and we are deeply grateful to all who made it possible.

Arts Alive! Barrington is doing fantastic work to bring the performing arts and all the benefits they produce to our schools. We are lucky to have such talented theater professionals tutoring the children of Barrington. I’ve never seen harder working or more dedicated people than Dena, Kimberly and Kirsten. They worked many long, hard hours, sacrificing time with their own families so that the children of this town can have the best educational experience possible. Our community is a better place thanks to their hard work and dedication to keeping the arts alive in Barrington.

Pete Bilderback



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