Updated March 27 at 10:58pm

Sharing passion, engaging community

Mariann Almonte
Courthouse Center for the Arts executive director

Giving back to the community is the most heartwarming, gratifying job. For me, it led initially to volunteering at the Courthouse Center for the Arts, which was followed by a position on the board of directors, and today I am its executive director.

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One last thing

Sharing passion, engaging community

Mariann Almonte
Courthouse Center for the Arts executive director

Posted:

Giving back to the community is the most heartwarming, gratifying job. For me, it led initially to volunteering at the Courthouse Center for the Arts, which was followed by a position on the board of directors, and today I am its executive director.

The challenge is immense – how to deliver no-cost arts education to children.

First, tenacity helped open eyes, and doors. But, really, it is an extremely supportive board of directors, business sponsors and a loving and generous community who have helped us turn this vision into reality.

And it is a compelling vision (that piece of the equation is quite important). I feel that providing important and worthwhile programs turns what could be a standard asking-for-help pitch into a happy-to-lend-a-hand situation.

And thankfully, the results – especially for autistic, delayed-learning and special-needs children, although all participants benefit – support just what the center can do.

Our programming, led by music and theater professionals, increases cognitive-learning skills, increases vocabulary, minimizes anxiety, helps the children to speak in full sentences and so much more.

What I've learned the most from this experience is, I don't have to go it alone. It's not just about having an energetic board. Volunteers and the community make the difference.

From corporate sponsors to office and ticketing help, to carpenters and painters, our historic building is a beehive of activity. In fact, the community is the backbone of our agency and the reason we can claim success. •

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