Dance concert benefits AIDS Outreach Center

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    Performers from DanceTCU, Contemporary Ballet Dallas, Epiphany Dance Arts and several other dance companies from the Dallas-Fort Worth area united for the 20th annual AIDS Outreach Center Benefit Concert Saturday night.

    The event, which was sponsored by the university's Chi Tau Epsilon Dance Honor Society, was held in Erma Lowe Hall Studio Theater and showcased ballet dancers from both modern and classical backgrounds. All proceeds from the event went to the AIDS Outreach Center of Greater Tarrant County, according to the event's sponsors.

    “It’s more than just a one night event. It’s an entire year partnership that we can really value as a chapter, department and even as a school and as a community.” Alexa Culclasure, the senior director of community outreach and public relations with XTE, said.

    Culclasure said the concert has grown every year, but this year’s show was their best turnout yet. She contributed part of the show’s success to the professional companies that came out to perform and the educational outreach program XTE has with AOC in conjunction with the concert.

    “It took a lot of planning,” she said. “But it was all very worth it and very rewarding along the way.”

    Last year the concert raised $5,000 for AOC, Culclasure said. She said they hoped to raise more this year.

    As for the future of the AOC benefit concert, Catherine Roe, junior director of community outreach and public relations for XTE, said, “We would like to continue to raise more awareness, more money and become more involved. I think that’s going to be the goal for next year and the consecutive years.”

    The benefit concert was established in 1993 when then XTE President Andy Parkhurst organized students in the College of Fine Arts to honor accompanist Lee Fincher who had recently lost his battle with HIV/AIDS.

    Parkhurst said he thinks the most important thing is to keep up with the tradition of putting on the concert and to continue to bring supporters in from the community.

    “HIV/AIDS awareness and support is important, and it is not going away. If it is something we can’t talk about or look at for one evening in the dance field, then we're in trouble.” Parkhurst said.

    Funding for the event was provided through grants from Student Development Services and the Activities Funding Board, according to the pamphlet for the concert.

    For more about the university's Chi Tau Epsilon Dance Honor Society, visithttp://www.dance.tcu.edu/chitauepsilon.asp.

    For more on the AIDS Outreach Center, visit http://www.aoc.org.