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Wednesday, March 29, 2017 This Week's Paper

D.A.S.H. Center showcases its finest at masquerade fundraiser

Men and women dressed in handsome suits and gorgeous ball gowns, faces covered with glamorous masks, and talented youth dressed the same, could only be the Masquerade Ball hosted by the D.A.S.H. Center for the Arts. D.A.S.H. Center for the Arts, local nonprofit performing arts center, is known for unique, creative productions and opportunities for the youth in our community. The Board of Directors works to do the same with its annual major fundraiser. In 2009, they hosted a Casino Royale. A Gala Gallery event was hosted in 2010, and this year they brought us a Masquerade Ball.

Cork Wine Bar was the venue of choice, and created a perfect backdrop for such an inviting, yet upscale event. Entertainment for the evening was provided by Tacoma’s #1 R&B/Top 40 band D1 Experience, with lead vocals by the D.A.S.H. Center’s own Executive Director Candi Hall. The performance teams from the D.A.S.H. Center wowed the attendees with unseen material. The dance team Reality Check worked with Natasha Thayer of Studio 6 Ballroom for two weeks prior to learn six forms of ballroom dance. These youth showed potential donors that they not only perform Hip Hop dance, but also Cha Cha, Samba, Foxtrot, West Coast Swing, Salsa and Tango. The MC group, AOHH, moved crowds with two emotional spoken word pieces.

In addition to the electrifying performances, there were several speeches given by students, each of whom spoke of how the D.A.S.H. Center has changed their lives. One young woman spoke of growing up without a mother and how difficult that was, but D.A.S.H. has given her “a whole bunch of moms.” One young man spoke of his eyes being open to the arts and the ability to follow his passion. He now sees the importance of arts, just as much as Science and Math, “which is a big deal coming from a student of SAMI [Science and Math Institute].” Completing the touching speeches, Hall shared her very real and moving story of her own early life, being surrounded by drugs and physical abuse, as well as growing up in “the ghetto.” Arts have impacted so many lives and D.A.S.H. is very instrumental to Tacoma’s Arts scene.

That was the message of this year’s fundraiser. D.A.S.H. offers scholarships to their Performing Arts Excellence Project, a fully immersive performing arts program. The project prepares kids to attend School of the Arts, and arts colleges as well. D.A.S.H. had the goal of raising enough to fund six scholarships. The fundraiser was well attended and a lot of fun, but D.A.S.H. didn’t quite make their goal. The center is still accepting donations to help reach its $10,000 goal to fund six full-year scholarships. Donations can be made in person at the D.A.S.H. Center or by Mail, 1504 MLK Jr. Way. If you would like to make a credit card donation, or recurring monthly donation, contact the D.A.S.H. Center (253) 507-9466.

Next D.A.S.H. production: Nov. 11th at Mt. Tahoma High School –“ICONIC,” created and produced by Jimmy Shields, artistic director.

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