The Contemporaries are a group of dedicated women who combine our energy and talents to support the educational, cultural and civic affairs of the community. Additionally, we have continuously provided volunteer and financial support to the CAC. Our mission is to provide funding for the CAC in support of the performing and visual arts, with a major focus on opportunities for children to participate in activities that will stimulate a life-long interest in the arts. Toward that end, we’ve developed on-going educational programs like Hands-On and Arts-in-Education.
The Contemporaries were chartered in 1969 with eighty-five members; membership to date is over one hundred twenty-five. We were the first women’s organization in the country organized for the specific purpose of assisting an arts council. Raising funds for the CAC is one of the primary functions of our organization and is one of the CAC’s largest monetary donors. Since 1975, $2,258,411 has been raised by our group as unrestricted operating funding for the CAC.
The Contemporaries serve as docents for the CAC’s Arts-in Education program which consist of professional touring theatrical performances presented for the students in the area. Programs range from musical to dramatic and are always an exciting hit with the students. More than 20,000 children ages K-8 are entertained and educated during these programs. Contemporaries members meet the children at the bus and escort them to their assigned seating for the program and then take them back to the bus when the performance ends.
“Hands On” is a program created, funded and implemented by The Contemporaries of CAC as a multidisciplinary field trip for third grade students learning about the culture of different times, people and places. Each two hour session is divided into four 25 minute segments. For many of the more than 2,400 students who attend, Hands-On is their first and perhaps only interactive experience with theater and an art gallery and a chance to learn about the world beyond their community.
Because the Contemporaries realize the importance of a meaningful learning experience, all the activities and information are carefully designed to support classroom objectives and state standards.