Witches, cowboys and masked figures evoked the spirit of Halloween on Friday, Oct 11, filling the banquet room at the Lafayette House with chatter and laughter during the Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council’s annual Masquerade Gala. The event serves as a major fundraiser for the non-profit group, which works to teach, showcase, and promote the arts and history throughout the county.
Betty Martin and Sharon Klecha attended the gala on behalf of Harmony in Motion, an all-female a cappella group based in Sussex. Their non-profit choir is the beneficiary of funds from SCAHC and said the support they receive is tremendous.
“We wanted to come tonight to show our support in return for what they (SCAHC) do for us,” Martin said, “Keeping vocal music alive is so important. We have a lot of older members, who say it really keeps their minds sharp.”
Marion Cuff, the owner and principal of The Grace Financial Group in Sparta, has been a supporter and sponsor of the SCAHC for the last 25 years and said that the gala is a special night for the arts in Sussex County.
“The arts are what keep us alive, keep us human, and keep us real,” Cuff said, “The activities that the council promotes are so important for people to express themselves.”
Cuff said she likes to bring her clients and friends to SCAHC workshops and events, to show them a side of Sussex County, and of herself, that they may not always get to see.
“We have to support this artistic community,” she said, “because the council serves as such a conduit back into the greater community.”
The Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council is based in Newton, and operates a gallery and workshop at 133 Spring St. In addition to classes, workshops and several art and photography shows each year, the SCAHC provides funding for vocal and instrumental music groups throughout the county, and supports the work of historical preservation organizations. For more information on the SCAHC’s mission, or to find out more about upcoming workshops and gallery exhibitions, visit their website at www.scahc.org.