Art lovers help make stars shine

Barney Ellevsen, and performers Jaiden Thomas from Smiths Hill High School and Taylah Morgan and Bethany Bracamonte from Wollongong High School. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Barney Ellevsen, and performers Jaiden Thomas from Smiths Hill High School and Taylah Morgan and Bethany Bracamonte from Wollongong High School. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Southern Stars, the annual showcase of performing arts talent among public school students, has launched a new initiative to help fund it.

Friends of Southern Stars is a program for community members interested in contributing to performing arts in the Illawarra.

‘‘What we’re looking at is trying to get more community involvement and instead of looking for those big sponsors, getting people who would like to support the arts and Southern Stars and see it continue and grow,’’ said Southern Stars operations manager Sharon Buikstra.

The production has also been opened to schools across the state for the first time, rather than just those in the Illawarra region.

‘‘We felt it was time to make it bigger – we had the space and the talent,’’ Ms Buikstra said.

Supporters receive two free tickets to this year’s Southern Stars performance and acknowledgement in the program, print media and social media campaigns. Each membership is for one year, starting on July 1, and costs $500.

The initiative follows the $20 participation fee introduced for each student this year – Southern Stars has had to become ‘‘essentially self-funding’’ this year after changes to regional Department of Education and Communities structures.

For further information on how to become a member, contact Ms Buikstra at sharon.buikstra@det.nsw.edu.au.

Southern Stars is on at WIN Entertainment Centre on August 29-30.

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