Gala to raise funds for arts in schools

Published 10:19 pm Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Suffolk Education Foundation will host its fifth annual gala to celebrate the arts in Suffolk Public Schools on Feb. 22.

The gala raises money to supplement arts funding in the public schools in Suffolk, and all the proceeds of the event will go directly to those classes that participate in the gala.

“The money goes straight back to the arts in Suffolk Public Schools. The teachers that participate in the program, whether it’s performances or artwork, get a direct cut on the proceeds,” said foundation president Patrick Belcher.

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Last year, the gala was able to distribute $300 to each group that participated, with some schools benefiting by having multiple art forms at the gala.

Every public school in Suffolk has the opportunity to participate in the gala. All grade levels will have pieces of visual art on display during the gala for attendees to admire.

For the Suffolk Education Foundation, arts education deserves more money than it is currently given by the school division, and this is the foundation’s way of giving back.

“Suffolk Public Schools isn’t facing something that any other school district is facing. Unfortunately, arts aren’t overly funded, and it’s nice that we can spotlight this and allow the community to directly support the schools,” Belcher said.

The theme for the year is “Under the Sea,” and everything, including performances, must relate to the theme.

“We try and have fun with the theme every year. It’s a way to entice people to do something fun and a little different,” Belcher said. “Last year we did ‘A Night at the Movies,’ and all the artwork was movie props and the songs and music were from a movie.”

The whimsical nature of the gala is something that Belcher believes is important to everyone’s life, not just during the gala.

“Math and science are what we do to make a living, and arts and culture is what we live for,” Belcher said. “It’s what gives beauty to everything we do. Science, math and reading are important and fundamental, but the arts and music is what allows us to enjoy every day.”

The foundation will be selling tickets for $35, and they will be on sale until the day of the event. They will also continue to sell them at the door.

Tables will be for sale for $300, but they will stop selling tickets for tables on Feb. 14.

Visit for tickets.