Letting our Bright Lights Shine

One-Act Play Festival Will Celebrate Actors of All Abilities

MASK4At Alternatives, we love to give the creative folks among us the opportunity to shine. This January, we’re hoping to spotlight lots of regional talent at the One-Act Play Festival we’re sponsoring in conjunction with ValleyCAST. The Festival will run from January 10-12.

Whether you are a rookie, seasoned professional or part of a community group that never before put on a play, we want you!! Inclusive theater groups, including members with and without disabilities, are also encouraged to join the fun.

The Festival is open to schools, colleges, churches, and community groups – basically ANYONE who’d like to share their love of performing. And, we’re giving out prizes!

Original work (calling all you budding playwrights!!), one-act published works, or part of a longer play can be entered.  Plays have to be at least 10 minutes long, but no longer than 30 minutes. You don’t even need to worry about elaborate sets or special lighting – because we’ll be keeping it simple.

For those of you too shy to step in front of the curtain, there will be ample opportunity to volunteer behind the scenes. And, of course, we hope everyone will come out to see the performances.

Please take a look at the Festival application as it has lots more information. If you have any questions, contact Tom Saupe at Tom.Saupe@AlternativesNet.org or 508-266-6502.

Laugh a Little; Learn a Little – November 8th

Tired of dinner and a movie? Join Alternatives for wine, cheese, art, and laughs instead!

LT_Logo1As part of Alternatives’ commitment to building stronger communities, we sponsor many activities events that bring people of all abilities together. This weekend we have not one, but two events that, we hope, will tempt you off the couch and out of the house.

This Friday, Nov. 8, Pilgrim Soul’s production of Living Together opens a two week run in our Singh Performance Center, 60 Douglas Road, Whitinsville. Show times are 7:30 PM on Nov. 8, 9, 15 and 16, with a 2:30 PM matinee on Nov. 17.  Variety describes the play as delivering “ more laughs than ought to be legal.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStop by before the show on Friday and enjoy some wine and cheese in the Aldrich Heritage Gallery adjacent to the theater. And while you’re there, check out the new exhibit of Native American art opening in the Gallery: The Art of Hopi Katsina Carving – Spirit Beings from 1200 A.D. to the Present. Katsina carvings (also called Kachina dolls) represent traditional Hopi spirit beings in the form of plants, animals and natural forces.

As a very special treat, Makwesa Darance Chimerica, an award winning Katsina carver, will be demonstrating his craft in the Gallery during the reception from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM!

For more info, go to www.AlternativesNet.org/news-and-events

Creating Art from the Beauty of the Valley – Guest Post from Alternatives

Artist Linda Sinacola

Artist Linda Sinacola

We all know just how beautiful the Blackstone Valley is – particularly in the fall. Well, from September 27-29 the gorgeous scenery that we sometimes take for granted will be inspiring the twenty renowned painters who will be participating in Alternatives’ premiere Blackstone Valley Plein Air Arts Festival. The artists will be competing for cash prizes and their work will be judged by noted artist and author, Charles Movalli.

“Plein Air” means open air, especially daylight in the outdoors, and the artists will be painting at various locations throughout the area. Maps will be available showing the sites where the painters are most likely to be, giving the public the chance to “look over the shoulders” of some really remarkable talented artists at work. What a great opportunity for the budding artists, or just art enthusiasts, among us.

Artist Michael Graves

Artist Michael Graves

In addition to the main contest, there will also be a “Quick Draw Contest” at Riverbend Farm in which the artists will only have 3 hours to complete a plein air painting on site. Talk about pressure!!

The three day extravaganza will culminate with a reception and fundraising auction of the works created at Alternatives’ Whitin Mill (50 Douglas Road in Whitinsville) beginning at 6:00 PM on September 29. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Alternatives’ programs for individuals with psychiatric disabilities.

For more information, including a list of the participating artists and examples of their work, go to www.AlternativesNet.org/events/plein-air or call Tom Saupe at 508-234-6520.

Artist Gerard Blouin

Artist Gerard Blouin

We are really excited about this Festival and can’t wait to have all of this creative energy gathered together in the Valley. Please mark your calendars. We’d love to see you there.

The Festival is being hosted by Alternatives and ValleyCAST. But we couldn’t have done it without our terrific sponsors: Emerson Investment Management and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. A very heartfelt thank you.

Karen Goldenberg
Director of Marketing and Development, Alternatives
50 Douglas Road, Whitinsville, MA 01588

Alternatives is a non-profit human services agency currently serving over 2000 adults with developmental and psychiatric disabilities in 55 residential, employment and day programs throughout Central Massachusetts. For more information about Alternatives please visit our website at www.alternativesnet.org or call us at (508) 234-6232.

Alternative’s Valley Friendship Tour Helped with a Dunk from Harbro

For the second year in a row, Alternatives’ Valley Friendship Tour has set a new fundraising record.

For the second year in a row, Alternatives’ Valley Friendship Tour has set a new fundraising record.

For the second year in a row, Alternatives’ Valley Friendship Tour has set a new fundraising record. Needless to say, we’re pretty excited about this success – particularly when we think about all of the ways in which these funds will be able to improve the lives of the people we serve. Raising almost $170,000 (and still counting!) is really remarkable and we have lots of people to thank, including all of the Chamber members who participated, fielded teams, made donations or sponsored the event.

Harbro Auto really got involved with the Tour this year. Not only were they represented by one of the largest and most enthusiastic teams (you couldn’t miss them in their blue HARBRO t-shirts as you can see from this picture), but they also hosted two car washes for one of our Mental Health services teams AND invited us to participate in their 40th Anniversary Celebration by manning the dunk tank. Their celebration on June 15 was a really terrific event and with people lining up to dunk Alternatives’ Dennis Rice and Michael Seibold and Harbro’s Tim Hare (among other Alternatives and Harbro “celebrities”) we raised $800 for the Valley Friendship Tour. Here’s a clip of Dennis Rice getting wet. Good thing it was a nice day.

So, thanks again to Harbro Auto and our BVCC Valley Tour sponsors: Bowditch & Dewey, LLP, Creedon & Co., Eastern Security Safe, Koopman Lumber, Milford Federal Savings & Loan, Osterman Propane, Stonebridge Press Newspapers and Whitinsville Water Company. A special shout out to everyone at Gaudette Insurance. Their “Gerry’s Gang” team raised an astounding $7825 (so far) and is our top external team.

Alternative’s Valley Friendship Tour. It was a fun day for a fun cause.

Karen Goldenberg