Circus-like event launches fundraiser for art

Sunday, January 28, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 10:57 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 2, 2008

On Saturday night, the lobby of the Missouri Theatre was a gallery, full of art made by students at Lee Expressive Arts Elementary School as well as local artists.

Families and teachers roamed the lobby along with artists and people who simply dropped by to watch Charlie Chaplin in “The Circus.”

The art and the movie were part of an event hosted by the Lee Elementary PTA board to raise money to bring more art events to students, such as field trips and artists-in-residence. All of the art was for sale by silent auction. There were more than 45 items.

The Artist-In-Residence program brings professional artists to the school to work with students. It is one of the ways Lee Elementary integrates art into the educational curriculum.

“They do curriculum integration at its finest,” said Teresa Vandover, principal at Lee Elementary, during opening comments before the movie. “It’s like a beautiful woven scarf.”

After making their way through the lobby and bidding on pieces, moviegoers gave their tickets to Christine Doerr, a volunteer who was dressed up as Chaplin.

“I’ve always loved Charlie Chaplin and his pure artistry,” Doerr said.

Doerr wasn’t the only one dressed up. Many faculty members were in costume, including Ann Mehr, the art teacher at Lee Elementary, as a lion.

“Are my ears showing all right?” Mehr asked as she entered the theater.

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