October 29, 2012
My children have participated in the Hope Stone Kids program for about five years now, and I've attended several Hope Stone professional performances. I have to say, if I were reading these glowing reviews I'd be skeptical, but I'm about to write one of them! The Kids program is a place that works hard to attract kids of all kinds: the ones who are great at dance and music, the ones who aren't (but who want to participate); the ones who are wealthy, and the ones who aren't; all races, all political parties, girls AND boys. It makes performance art fun for kids, without pressure, while teaching them important fundamentals, how to work as a team, and all those other lessons we parents want our kids to learn. They also provide great role models of adults who are artists or active in the arts: people who are thoughtful, respectful, creative, and contributing to our community. As an adult, I value the unique classes available for adults-- hard to find this level of quality on an a la carte basis anywhere else. And I want to praise the professional company as well. As an outsider to the arts world, I've sometimes felt intimidated or uniformed at some other groups' performances: I didn't get it, and no one would explain. When Hope Stone performs, I may not always get it, or see it the same way my neighbor did, but somehow, my interpretation of what I saw is Okay. I'm always entertained by the programs, exposed to new ideas, and never, ever bored. It's a huge asset to Houston to be able to see affordable, cutting-edge work like this. I've been around Hope Stone enough to know that they are always on a shoestring budget, and there's never enough money for what are reasonable needs, let alone the big dreams of the staff and board of directors. If you're looking for an arts organization worthy of support, this is it!
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