Sumter Arts Showcase presents 'Under the Big Top'

Gala show benefits Tuomey Foundation

BY IVY MOORE
Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 2/22/18

In the spirit of the world's most famous showman, the late P.T. Barnum, Miss Libby's School of Dance and the Rising Stars will present their 21st Annual Sumter Arts Showcase at 7 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday at Patriot Hall.

Artistic Director …

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Sumter Arts Showcase presents 'Under the Big Top'

Gala show benefits Tuomey Foundation

Posted

In the spirit of the world's most famous showman, the late P.T. Barnum, Miss Libby's School of Dance and the Rising Stars will present their 21st Annual Sumter Arts Showcase at 7 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday at Patriot Hall.

Artistic Director Jennifer Reimer quoted Barnum, who said, "The noblest art is that of making others happy." She and production manager Seth Reimer said their 21st Showcase is designed to entertain "Ladies and gentlemen of all ages," as Barnum's circus barkers often announced.

The Reimers create, script and produce the Showcase each February with a unique theme.

Jennifer Reimer said the theme for the 2018 Showcase is "Under the Big Top," which will have all the trappings of an actual circus. More than 200 dancers from Miss Libby's, portraying clowns, elephants, mimes, lions and bears on bicycles, will appear on stage for two performances, and emcee-ringmaster Ann Wilson Floyd will be back to introduce performers and run the show with her unique humor, Reimer said.

In addition to Miss Libby's Rising Stars, there will be guest performances by Caroline Calouche & Company.

"They are an aerial arts company based out of Charlotte," Reimer said. "They will be doing partner balancing, acrobatics, aerial silks and the leira (aerial ring)."

The Sumter Arts Showcase is presented each year as a fundraiser for the Tuomey Foundation, which is also a main sponsor of the event. Reimer said all proceeds from the Showcase, donations and sponsorships "directly affect the improvements of the infant ward" at Palmetto Health Tuomey.

Jeffery Faw, executive director of the Foundation, said the Showcase is vital to its annual fundraising.

"Over the years it has contributed over half a million dollars for our Women and Infants care here at Palmetto Health Tuomey," he said.

The vision of the Tuomey Foundation is "Encouraging philanthropic support to improve the health and well-being of our community," and its mission is stated as "Engaging community partners to enhance health care for those served by Palmetto Health Tuomey."

Faw added that the Showcase "created by Miss Libby's School of Dance and Gymnastics is always entertaining for all ages. 'Under the Big Top' will be sure to please with many surprises.

"We have an exciting evening for you filled with gravity-defying aerial acts and wonderful dancers and music."

Faw said, "The presenting sponsor again this year is The Junior Welfare League of Sumter. They have faithfully supported this effort from the beginning."

Individuals and businesses can become sponsors of the Sumter Arts Showcase by contacting the Tuomey Foundation. Sponsors are invited to attend a special reception at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in the Booth Reception Hall at Patriot Hall, where they will meet members of Caroline Calouche & Company and the creative team of the Sumter Arts Showcase. The team comprises the Reimers, Assistant Production Manager Tim Langford, Company Director Ariel Mack, Technical Director David Shoemaker, Media Designer Chris Reardon and choreographers Libby Singleton, Holly DuBose, Rebecca Osteen, Torri Cole, Jill Horton, Ariel Mack and Jennifer Reimer.

Miss Libby's School of Dance presents the 21st Annual Sumter Arts Showcase, "Under the Big Top," at 7 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday at Patriot Hall, 135 Haynsworth St. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Miss Libby's School of Dance, 155 W. Wesmark Blvd, or by calling (803) 469-8277. If any tickets remain, they may be purchased at the door before each performance.

Contact the Tuomey Foundation, 102 N. Main St., at (803) 774-9498. For more about the Tuomey Foundation, visit its website, www.tuomeyfoundation.org.