The Davis Arts Council's mission is to enrich and strengthen our community through the power of the arts. Because of that, we keep 80% of our programming absolutely free. We have many free programs, but nothing shows the potential to move, excite, and educated families like our Active Pages Program during the Halloween season
A volunteer led walk through the twinkle lit hollow in our local park sets the tone for the telling of a classic piece of literature. Professional actors each present a section of the story, first in the daylight for the smaller visitors, and then again in the dark for a scarier version of the story. No jumping out or grabbing people, no blood and gore, just talented performers using the written word to portray the story in a memorable way. Classics like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula have each had their turn being told. A small creek runs along the side of the path in the park, so the nature sounds add to the spooky experience. The children are given glow sticks to carry which gives a green hint to the path, and actors carry a traditional lantern to light their area as well. The dialogue and descriptions are taken directly from the classic book so for many of the adults, its often their first time experiencing the original story. Grandparents have turned this into an annual event each year with their grandchildren, families will arrive in costume, teenagers will come in groups, and our senior citizens consider it a great date night.
At the end of the tale, the groups are brought to back to pick out a copy of a free book to take home. There are varying age groups so there are also varying types of books to choose from. A picture book, a graphic novel, the original text, or even baby lit versions. Everyone under the age of eighteen leaves with a free book to take home. Parents tell us the children want to read and re-read the story repeatedly and cannot stop talking about the experience. Our goal is to provide the community with a classical literature experience with an artistic presentation. We feel we succeed with our free programming and our donors, sponsors and community partners help us bring this program to life. Support from the CFC also helps programs like this survive.
Our other free programming includes a Christmas Version of Active Pages when the park is lit for the holidays, during the summer our Free Friday Movies and Free Sunday Concerts, Small Stage Concert Series which highlights small ensembles in an intimate setting, Davis Arts Presents which brings professional theater into elementary schools and provides other arts programming like Greek Theatre and Ballet West in our community. Senior Stages takes programming for, by, and about seniors into places where they gather, the Insomnia Film Challenge which is a 48-hour film competition, and our Snow Horse Galleries that feature local and student art out in the community.
We believe all this FREE programming enriches and strengthens our community, and provides our patrons, young and old, art experiences they wouldn’t otherwise have.