In this age of tight budgets, art and music programs have suffered at many public schools, forcing parents and students to turn elsewhere for these enrichment programs. One such option is the Fiddlehead Center for the Arts in Scarborough, which offers visual and performing arts and science classes for a wide range of groups, including preschoolers, home schoolers, after schoolers and even adults.

On Thursday night, more than 150 people filled The Asylum in Portland for the semiformal Green Gala. With live and silent auctions, the party raised $7,500 to help Fiddlehead expand its programming.

“We’re really trying to help Fiddlehead to grow and evolve their music, science and art programming,” said Krista Newman, who is a board member and the owner of The Asylum. “It’s so important for kids to express themselves.”

Board president Karyn MacLeod told me the organization had no budget to plan the party and a very short time frame to organize it.

“We put this together in two months,” MacLeod said. “Having The Asylum help us made it possible.”

Photographer Nadra Edgerley, who is board vice president, explained to me why the services the Fiddlehead Center provides are needed.

“Our school budgets are being cut all the time and the schools aren’t offering much art anymore,” Edgerley said. “When I was a kid we did art every day. Now it might be once a week. We’re also losing music (education). All the research shows that kids that excel in music and arts excel academically.”

The money raised at the party will help the center expand its music programs, including more classes for adults, and grow its home school programs.

During the silent auction, guests got a taste of what the center has to offer from Fiddlehead instructor Rich Punzi, who filled the air with the lovely sounds of his guitar. Once the silent auction tables closed, Herb Ivy, known to legions of WBLM listeners as The Captain, took to the stage with board member Rob Edgerley to conduct the live auction.

The item that brought in the most money was a handmade bamboo fly rod and case created by board member Dr. Scott Chase. His children, Anna and Erich Chase, also contributed to the auction by creating a set of five Shaker-style nesting boxes, which generated their own bidding frenzy.

When I caught up with Erich, 10, he praised the Fiddlehead programs.

“It’s fun,” Erich told me. “They have almost every type of class and they have summer camps, too.”

Another popular auction item was a Sea Dogs package that offered a chance to toss out the first pitch of the game.

“It’s harder that it looks,” Ivy warned the crowd. “And if you bounce it they boo you.”

“Did you bounce it?” Rob Edgerley asked.

“Three times,” Ivy replied.

Another hot item in the live auction was a gift certificate for hair extensions at the Bei Capelli salon.

During the party, Bei Capelli had stylists Ashleigh Cabana and Alana Cote demonstrating how hair extensions are applied.

“It’s instant gratification,” salon co-owner Melissa Vigue told me. “It’s real human hair, so you can comb it, blow dry it, and curl it.”

It takes about four to six hours to attach a full set of extensions and it costs between $1,200 and $1,600. The extensions last up to six months.

After the gavel came down on the last live auction item, the Time Pilots bounded up to the stage and transported us back to the ’80s with well-executed versions of songs such as “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince and “Jump” by Van Halen.

As the crowd danced to the music, Nadra Edgerley pronounced the event a success and told me, “we’re hoping to make it an annual event to celebrate arts and community.”

 

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:

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Twitter: AveryYaleKamila