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Education

NCI ARTworks Mad Hatter Ball scheduled for Sept. 20 in Utica

High school students already are perfecting their performances and setting up photographs and presentations for the Mad Hatter Ball on Sept. 20, where NCI ARTworks will honor them for their outstanding performance and visual artistic talents.
High school students already are perfecting their performances and setting up photographs and presentations for the Mad Hatter Ball on Sept. 20, where NCI ARTworks will honor them for their outstanding performance and visual artistic talents.

PERU — North Central Illinois (NCI) ARTworks announces seven area high school students will be recognized during the third annual Mad Hatter Ball on Friday, Sept. 20, at Celebrations 150 in Utica. The event will be held from 6 to 10 p.m.

“This is a celebration of outstanding performing and visual artistic talents of high school students throughout the Illinois Valley,” said Sue Gillio, chair of the Mad Hatter Ball and owner of Music Suite 408, the Fine Arts Factory and The Paintbox. “We’ll also celebrate the many arts opportunities NCI ARTworks has launched and expanded this year, with fun and whimsical ways for our guests to celebrate the arts, too.”

The 2019 honorees are: Emma Anderson, piano, LaSalle-Peru High School; Erin Daniel, vocalist, Ottawa High School; Alaina Gallion, dance, Ottawa High School; Victor Heredia, piano, Hall High School; Mia Mautino, visual art, Hall High School; Reid Rynke, vocalist, LaSalle-Peru High School; and Teaghan Tillman, visual art, Mendota High School.

Tickets are $35 apiece at the door, in advance at www.nciartworks.com or www.eventbrite.com; at the NCI ARTworks Westclox ARTSCenter or Music Suite 408 in the west wing of the Westclox building on Fifth Street in Peru; or by calling Sue Gillio at 815-228-8204. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

The fun and whimsy will be led by Mad Hatter host Sean Walsh, local musician who can be heard mornings on 96.5 the Wolf and afternoons on 99.3 WAJK, and the 2019 Queen of ’ARTs, who will be announced and crowned at the event.

Reigning Queen of ’ARTs Kathy Casstevens, marketing director at Starved Rock State Park, will crown the new Queen of ’ARTS from among three queen candidates who will be chosen by online votes or by paper ballots provided by the candidates.

Guests are invited to wear their favorite “mad” or fancy hats to the event, and prizes will be awarded. Fancy dress is not required.

The Mad Hatter Ball will feature a light buffet, “unbirthday cake” for dessert and a cash bar. Al and Jeanne Brown will perform live. Guys on the Radio will provide DJ music. There also will be a silent auction, as well as raffle items and a balloon burst with a $500 prize in one of the balloons.

Mad Hatter Ball proceeds benefit NCI ARTworks programs and activities, including the new Westclox ARTworks Center that contains a comfortable, multi-purpose room to showcase art, for meetings and performances, and as a lounge and waiting area for families with students attending lessons. The space also includes a kitchen facility and the organizations’ business office. NCI ARTworks is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and expanding the arts community in LaSalle, Bureau and Putnam counties through three initiatives — artistic collaboration, educational outreach and art space development.

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