Photo contributed by Tommy Thompson
Lexie Helgerson plays Viola, a woman who disguises herself as a man and inadvertently wins the affections of Olivia, played by Stephanie Holladay Earl, in William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night." The American Shakespeare Center will stage two performances of "Twelfth Night" in Lovett Auditorium as part of the Murray Shakespeare Festival early next month.
WILL PINKSTON | The Sun
Lisa Stephenson (right), director of the community scholarship program at West Kentucky Community & Technical College, passes a handful of pencils and candy to McNabb Elementary student Rakwon Robinson, 8, during the annual Super Sunday college fair at Harrison Street Missionary Baptist Church in Paducah on Sunday. Super Sunday college fairs were hosted in 16 communities across the state, encouraging African-American students to continue with post-secondary education.
Ask Taliyah Hamilton what she wants to be when she grows up and without skipping a beat the 14-year-old Paducah Middle School student beams ear-to-ear when she says a registered nurse.
“I’ve wanted to be an RN since I was in second grade,” Hamilton said, holding handfuls of health education pamphlets. “I just really like helping people.”
Although Hamilton’s still several years from her high school graduation, she has her future all planned out: Two years community college, then transferring to Dallas for nursing school and possibly becoming a Cowboys cheerleader on the side.
And while not all of the dozens of students at Harrison Street Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday were as resolute in their scholastic goals, West Kentucky Community & Technical College echoed a message resounding across the state that no matter what the students’ dreams, the college was there to help.
The Kentucky Community & Technical College System’s Super Sunday student recruitment initiative saw the system’s 16 community colleges partnering with Kentucky’s black churches for the third straight year to encourage black students and their families to advance educational goals into high-demand, high-wage careers.
Empty Bowls Project rocks Paducah
Over 1,700 bowls were made in preparation for this year’s Empty Bowls Project, and nearly every one of them was purchased and filled with food.
The project, which allows visitors to buy a bowl and eat unlimited food, is part of a fundraiser for the Community Kitchen of Paducah. People flooded the Julian M. Carroll Convention Center on Saturday for nearly three hours.
Last year, the project donated $20,200 to the Community Kitchen. The kitchen was able to serve 57,000 meals off of that money, director Sally Michelson said.
comes back to Murray
Many adults feel daunted when faced with a play by William Shakespeare, so the idea that kids in middle school can understand and enjoy the Bard may seem unusual.
But a few educators in the Murray area say that’s not the case at all.
Barbara Cobb, a teacher education coordinator at the Murray Shakespeare Festival, said that pre-adolescents are less resistant to learning dialects that seem foreign. That includes the language of Shakespeare.
“They have as much fun reading Shakespeare as they do reading Dr. Seuss, or speaking like Yoda,” she said. “They’re familiar with and excited about Shakespeare, so when they get to high school, they’re all ready to jump into those plays.”
The Murray Shakespeare Festival is just around the corner, and Cobb said that many of the middle and high schoolers who view the performance of this year’s comedy, “Twelfth Night,” will be well-equipped to enjoy the play. Several area schools have already had “Twelfth Night” on the reading list, thanks to the Shakespeare in Schools Partnership Initiative that Cobb spearheads.
Artists heading to Austria
Five Paducah-based artists will soon be able to add another title — that of cultural ambassador — to their resumes.
Printmaker Freda Fairchild, ceramics artist John Hasegawa, ceramist and fiber artist Lily Liu, abstract artist Paul Lorenz, and two-dimensional multimedia artist Teri Moore will travel to Austria as part of a cultural exchange program known as Project Wide West.
Rosemarie Steele, Paducah Arts Alliance board member, said the invitation is an honor, as the artists were selected based on the merit of their work.
“These artists can feel honored by the fact that they were chosen to be a part of this exhibit and project. Not only do they have the skills as far as (being) artists, but they also have this ability to teach and share their skills as artists with other people,” she said.