On Sunday, Sept. 11, our community has the opportunity to gather in our beautiful Performing Arts Center for a few hours of remembering that day ten years ago when lives were changed forever. The “9.11.11” event gives us all an opportunity to reflect on those events and the resilient spirit of the American people.
Sherry Klahs, co-artistic director of the event and chairman of the board of the Santa Clarita Master Chorale said, “I had been reflecting on this upcoming anniversary, and thought that, as artists and citizens, it was very important to do something to mark the occasion. I wanted to use our abilities and our voices to remember those who perished, and to honor those who served. This event allows many people to share in that as a community and as individuals.”
TimBen Boydston, co-artistic director of the event and executive director of the Canyon Theatre Guild, said, “I think that it is really important that we never forget what happened in America ten years ago and this milestone anniversary gives us an opportunity to take some time from our everyday lives to remember.”
Boydston continued, “Ten years ago, we gathered together for a performance entitled ‘Thanksgiving for Freedom.’ We chose that title because, as artists, we know that the freedom to express ourselves artistically hinges upon a free society. Several local non-profit arts organizations and high school choirs participated in the event and we raised funds which we sent to the Actors’ Fund in New York.”
Klahs added, “In remembering our participation in that first ‘Thanksgiving for Freedom’ as well as some later events in which I participated as a member of the Master Chorale, I realized that those events helped me to personally heal and to cope with this National disaster. I was proud to be able to pay my respects and to honor those who served in any capacity during and after the 9-11 event.”
This 10-year marker is significant, they believe, because as Boydston said, “It serves not only as a sober reminder of the tragedies of that day, but also a celebration of the freedoms that uplift us as American citizens. We wanted to create a performance that was joyous and uplifting, as well as thoughtful and reflective.”
When asked how the 9.11.11 performance became a reality, Klahs said, “I had been reflecting on the tenth anniversary and approached the Arts Commission to see what they thought about an event such as this. Then I met with TimBen, who had directed the first event. We discussed ways in which we could re-create ‘Thanksgiving for Freedom’ which had been so meaningful to so many people. We decided on this event as being a meaningful and appropriate way to observe this milestone.”
“It is wonderful that the college and the city have sponsored this event,” said Boydston. “It is giving an opportunity for visual and performing artists from thirteen organizations to gather together to remember what happened, to honor those who sacrificed that day, and each day since, and to celebrate the freedoms that we Americans all share.” The event begins with a 2:00 PM art show in the PAC Lobby, followed by performances in the theatre, which begin at 3:30 p.m. The suggested donation is $10 per person, and proceeds will benefit the SCV Warriors Scholarship for student veterans at College of the Canyons.
Participating arts groups include The ARTree, Canyon Theatre Guild, ESCAPE Theatre, Generation Arts, Santa Clarita Ballet Folklorico, Santa Clarita Ballet, Santa Clarita Valley Concert Band, Santa Clarita Master Chorale, Santa Clarita Artists’ Association, COC Music students, Santa Clarita Valley Photographers Association, Repertory East Playhouse, and Mission Renaissance. For tickets visit www.CanyonsPAC.com or call the PAC Box office at 661-362-5304.