The Show Must Go On!

Blog post by Michelle Hines- Tomlinson, Development Coordinator

Spring, the legendary season of tulips, robins, warmer days, and more sunshine. Goodbye to the long winter days of Vermont and hello to fresh, new beginnings.

What we didn’t expect this year was the beginning of COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus. And, also coincidentally, the name of a saint, Saint Corona, the patroness of pandemics. I can’t make this stuff up.

Saint Corona, pray for us!

Much like every Catholic school or non-profit organization in the United States, we were gearing up for our annual Spring fundraiser when our world started to shift. This year, instead of our traditional big, fancy gala, we wanted to pay homage to the arts and showcase the many forms of art that our beautiful state of Vermont boasts. We have acquired art from new and mature artists, current students, alumni, upcoming artists, talk of the town art, scholarly, and even our own school photographer!  Fifty pieces in total were ready for our art reception to be held April 3rd at the River Arts building. We were so excited to give special attention to the school’s love of art while also embracing our mission of enhancing the God-given gifts of every student that the thought of anything blocking its way didn’t even cross our minds.Vermonters are artisans by nature and our local communities hold an abundance of them. We decided to have fun with the theme and call it the Art of B.A.S.H. (Building a Scholastic Heritage). Taking a spin that all pieces were the art of something…The Art of Acrylics, The Art of Woodburning, The Art of Pen and Ink…you get the idea. We have collected work from artist Sebastian Sweatman who has been featured on the Ellen Degeneres Show, National Geographic Society Photographer, Mark Collier, local photographic legend, Marcie Scudder and her amazing piece “She’s Loved,” beautiful watercolors of Vermont’s first snow by Alice Bowman, still lifes from Christian painter, Elisabeth Miller, and an unbelievable abstract entitled “Critique Art” from upcoming artist, Trevor Corp of the Vermont Art Studio in Johnson. I could go on and on about the many wonderful works of art sitting in our deserted school building, but you’ll see them soon enough.

As the panic started to rise and the threat of shutting down the school became imminent, we realized that we were going to have to adjust The Art of B.A.S.H.  Cancelling it seemed out of the question. The sheer generosity of the artists at our fingertips, what could we do? We  decided the best course of action would be to shift from a live event to an online silent auction (date is still to be determined).  This proved to be the most fruitful while still creating an impact for our artists and the fundraiser.

Simply, we want to keep our BJAMS community healthy and safe while adhering to guidelines, but our annual spring fundraiser is critical to the development and advancement of our school. Monies raised go toward the Annual Fund (keeping the lights on, doors open, supporting teachers and children), supporting tuition assistance, and helping with the art programs for Pre- Kindergarten through 8th grades.

Through this pandemic, we are weathering the storm with hope, prayer, and compassion, but we need your help. Many families may not be able to return to our school next year because of personal financial losses which may possibly increase our need to provide additional tuition assistance.  We will need your support more than ever to help keep our BJAMS community strong.  Please consider helping us reach our goal of $8,000.

Once you receive the email invitation in a couple of weeks, we encourage you to send the link to all your family and friends throughout the world. If you aren’t interested in art, please consider making a donation or renewing your annual fund gift from this year. You will find a place to do so on the silent auction home page.

Thank you for your support. We pray for you and your families and hope that there’s peace in the days and months ahead. Stay safe and don’t worry… God always has a plan.

The show must go on!!