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Arts Alive! beams up dinner

Brush up on that Spock “Live Long and Prosper” hand sign and dig out that 1980s Chewbacca mask because the theme for this year’s Arts Alive! dinner and auction is Beam Me Up Enumclaw.

“Every TV show, movie, comic book character that has to do with outer space,” is costume worthy, said Celia Bender, chairwoman of this year’s event. “It’s just fun.”

The annual costume-optional extravaganza is scheduled for Nov. 6 at the Pete’s Pool fieldhouse. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with tickets for the fundraiser on sale now for $40 per person at the Arts Alive! Gallery, 1429 Cole St. in Enumclaw, 360-802-6787, or info@PlateauArtsAlive.org. The ticket deadline is Oct. 30.

This is the 27th year for the event, which raises money for Arts Alive!, the nonprofit, volunteer-run organization that supports visual, performing, literary and musical arts in the area.

Founded in 1984, Arts Alive! depends on public and private support to provide aid when and where students, artists, performers and musicians need.

Through the years, Arts Alive! has supported high school scholarships, children’s summer drama camp, local performance groups, senior center entertainment, individual artist and performance grants, summer ballet intensives, adult art workshops and the Artist in the Schools program.

When belts tighten, the arts usually get cinched first, Bender said.

“We know the economy is tight and everyone has their hands out,” she said. “But all the money goes back into the community. This keeps the arts going.

“It really, truly is a nonprofit. We turn around and give everything back to the community,” she said. “And to all arts – visual, music, dance, drama.”

In addition to costumes, part of the annual tradition is to honor a community member for their talent or support of the arts. This year’s honoree will be Gary LaTurner, the city of Enumclaw’s cultural programs manager, who also is a visual and ceramic artist and teacher.

“He’s really an accomplished artist,” Bender said.

LaTurner earned his master’s degree in education from Eastern Washington University in 1967 and spent most of his career teacher and creating art. He uses pencil, watercolor and oils to create impressionist drawings and paintings of figures, portraits and landscapes. He has had many solo exhibits and has been accepted in a variety of juried shows. His work has sold nationally and internationally. His drawings and paintings are shown at the Two Vaults Gallery in Tacoma, the Arts Alive! Gallery in Enumclaw and at Gallery One in Ellensburg, Wash.

Organizers are plotting a couple of fund-raising twists that should add to the evening’s fun factor.

There’s also still time to donate silent or live auction items or sponsor the event, contact Bender at celia@brcgear.com.

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