East Arkansas Community College hosted an Arts Partners appreciation event Thursday night at its Fine Arts Center to reveal the 2017-18 performance season.
In addition to thanking volunteers and season ticket holders for their contributions during last year's performance season, the college gave those in attendance a sneak peak at the performances that will headline the 2017-18 Spotlight Series.
Before the audience was treated to a preview of the performance schedule, EACC President Dr. Coy Grace made sure to thank everyone who helped make the 2016-17 season a success.
"We continue to appreciate our arts partners for everything they do," said Grace. "We couldn't do this, have the type of entertainment and do what we do, without you… We also owe a great deal of appreciation to the city's Advertising and Promotions Commission for all their help in making these shows a reality."
After having been thanked and fed, EACC staff, arts partners and pillars of the arts were given a presentation of the events that are scheduled for the new season by Richard Benson of KXJK/KBFC.
The 2017-18 performance season schedule will begin on July 28, with a special event show of “The Wizard of Oz,” performed by local children participating in EACC's annual Children's Theater Camp. The performance will be presented along with Compass Creative Dramatics.
The EACC Spotlight Series will officially begin on Sept. 16, with a performance by five-time Grammy Award winning Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman. Chapman has released more than 20 albums and has over 40 No.1 hits on Christian radio, spanning over a more than 20-year career.
On Nov. 4, audiences will be treated to southern rock and country band giant The Charlie Daniels Band. Daniels, now 80, will perform hits from his multi-platinum career, including mega-hit song, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."
Audiences will be treated to both song and dance on Jan. 19, when Dublin Irish Dance performs Stepping Out, a high energy step-show featuring traditional Irish music. The performance will take the audience on a experience through both song and dance, exploring the history of the Celtic culture.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame talent will take the stage on Feb. 17, when "America's Original Dream Girls," the Shirelles, come to the Fine Arts Center. Named one of the 100 Best Acts of All Time by Rolling Stone in 2004, the Shirelles have topped the Billboard Hot 100 and produced “strings to hits” recorded by hundreds of artists.
The Spotlight Series will conclude with a performance by Grammy Award-winning country star Travis Tritt on April 7. More than 27 years after Tritt launched his music career, he continues to sell out shows and top sales charts. He is dubbed one of the "Class of '89," which included country music superstars like Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and Clint Black. Tritt's overall career has produced millions in album sales, two Grammy Awards and multiple No. 1 singles on country radio charts.
EACC will also showcase a pair of holiday features in December.
On Dec. 2, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra will return to Forrest City to perform their Home for the Holidays special. On Dec. 10, “Mooseltoe,” a family-friendly holiday play narrated by Al Roker about a "moose with a dream" will treat the audience.
Another special event will be held on Feb. 2, when Kimistri, featuring the powerhouse vocals of Nicki Parrish, will take the stage. The performance is described as having a style that captivates fans of R&B, gospel, jazz, country, blues, hip-hop and reggae.
The Vespar Choir of University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff will perform on Feb. 8, featuring a 75- to 80-member select ensemble.
The college will also host a pair of performances at the Fine Arts Center just for local schools. The school series will begin on Sept. 28, with a performance of Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey, presented by Lightwire Theater. On Feb. 1, Theatreworks will present a performance of the popular children's book, “Charlotte's Web”.
Season ticket packages will go on sale to the general public on July 17. Single tickets to each event will be made available six weeks prior to the event.