Local arts organizations unite to fight hunger

Various arts organizations in Cache Valley are teaming up to fight hunger this holiday season. Arts organizations continue to collect food donations at performances from November through December and deliver them to the Cache Community Food Pantry. Arts patrons are encouraged to look for the ‘Hungry for the Arts’ posters at participating events. Participating organizations and events include the American West Heritage Center, Gallery Walk, Pickleville Playhouse (at the Eccles Conference Center), Utah Festival Opera Company (at the Dansante), the Winter Gift Market and performances at the Morgan Theatre, Caine Lyric Theatre, Kent Concert Hall, Kathryn Caine Wanlass-Manon Caine Russell Performance Hall, Logan Tabernacle and Ellen Eccles Theatre. “No one should go hungry in our beautiful Cache Valley,” says Tonya Smith, Marketing Director for the Utah Festival Opera Company. Several arts organizations that meet together quarterly as the Cache Valley Arts Summit have joined forces to raise awareness and encourage contributions during the holiday season. “As artists, many of us are used to doing without, especially when we are getting started, I mean, you’ve heard of the phrase ‘starving artist,’” says Tricia Hancock, Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Cache Valley Center for the Arts and coordinator of Hungry for the Arts. “So, while we are always concerned with the emotional and artistic well-being of our neighbors, we also know very well how important it is to have food on the table.” The need has never been greater. Matt Whitaker, director of the Cache Community Food Pantry, has seen a 40% increase in the need for food over the last year and a half. Although he indicated that Cache Valley’s generosity has kept pace with demand, it’s close. “We’re not getting ahead,” he says. “And I’ve heard a lot of people who are coming to the food pantry for the first time say, ‘I never thought I’d be here.'” Local arts organizations are encouraging everyone to celebrate the season with their neighbors by attending arts events and expressing their gratitude for whatever bounty they have by bringing canned and non-perishable foods to share with other neighbors who have been less fortunate. The Hungry for the Arts campaign continues through the end of December.

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