Meeting set to explore interest in community Christmas event

Thursday, September 6, 2018

A public meeting will be held at the Highland Assembly of God Community Center in Highland Sept. 9 at 2:30 p.m. to see if there is interest in creating a unified community Christmas event.

According to Shona Covington, the meeting will be to gather input from members of the community who have interest in participating in a theater event which will likely lead to more in the future.

Covington received her Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Western Illinois University. She serves on the board of directors for the North Arkansas Dance Theater and NADT/BCT Children’s Theater Camp.

In more recent past, Covington taught Theater Arts for the Highland School District and Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. She was also the owner of the Arkansas Traveller Dinner Theater from 1992 until 2006.

“We’re hoping that people interested in performance will come be a part of this meeting. It will be a meeting to discuss ideas. We can’t build this Christmas program until we see who is interested in participating,” Covington said. “We want to utilize the different gifts, talents and abilities from our community to come together and tell the story of Christmas.”

Earlier this year, Highland Assembly of God pastors Chris and Trisha Clem approached Covington to see if she would be interested in spearheading an event like the one that will be discussed at the meeting.

Her passion and experience in professional and local theater made her a perfect candidate to lead the project.

“When we talked about it, it seemed as though about 10 years ago everyone was so busy participating in Christmas programs that there was no time left in that season, but now it seems most everyone has stopped and so there is really nothing to go to to celebrate the season,” Covington said. “There are a couple of Christmas parades but there is nothing really that encompasses the entire community and that is what we want to do.”

When asked what type of participants Covington was seeking, she said she intended to use the skills and talents of those who show interest and to utilize them where they would best fit.

“We want to celebrate the season as a community and don’t know exactly what that will look like just yet, but we will have a better idea after the meeting. It would be beautiful if one church had a hand bell choir and one had something else and we could piece all of these things together,” Covington said. “This job will be about coordinating the talents of the interested participants in our community and that is how I can serve. I can piece things together. We welcome, designers, decorators, creators, visual artists, musicians, performers, dancers; we have many talented people in our area and their talents are diverse. I hope they will be a part of this performance and share their talents with the whole community.”

From the meeting, Covington said she also hopes to see interest in starting a community theater: one which would consist of community members as well as students who had interest in a creative outlet or in advancing their knowledge of theater.

“If we have the interest, I will run with it,” Covington said. “I would just like to invite the community to come to this meeting and see if it is something they would like to be part of.”

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