We wouldn’t be able to thrive without our dedicated Arts Center teachers and students, work study participants, and our amazing volunteers. Each month, we spotlight different ones to show the rest of the world how much they really mean to the FOA!
February Volunteer: Amber Martin
Hi all! My name is Amber Martin and I am a lifelong resident of Jonesboro. After graduating from Nettleton High School, I attended Arkansas State University (Go Indians!) where I received my undergraduate degree in Psychology and my graduate specialist degree in Mental Health Counseling. After college, the Arkansas State University Counseling Department become my place of employment and I am working on my 15th year as a Licensed Professional Counselor. I married a fellow Arkansan and ASU Alumni, James Martin, in 2006 and we have one beautiful daughter, Addy Beth, who keeps us on our toes with school, softball, gymnastics, soccer, volleyball, and now, theatre. We also have five fur babies. If I am not at work, I am usually following our red-headed princess all over the Earth. In my spare time (what’s that?) I make decorative hair bows and love staying active.
Why she become involved here/Favorite part of doing theatre
For the last couple years, our family has been regularly attending shows with great friends and always thought about how much fun it would be to be in a show. We have always heard that being on the performing side is where you truly appreciate everything about theatre. James had previously participated in Mama Mia! and told us great stories of the behind the scenes action. When we saw that Newsies! was going to be a FOA production, it was a no-doubter that our family wanted to be involved. When our family was cast, it was a real dream come true scenario! Each one of us had our own unique parts to play and I got to do something I haven’t done in years; dance on stage.
For nearly 20 years of my life, I was a highly competitive dancer. Throughout all of my schooling including ASU, I was a dancer. From a very early age, dance was a big part of my life. I have trained in clogging (Appalachian Buck), tap, jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary. My real love, though, was clogging (a high energy, specialized type of folk-style tap). I competed nationally for many years doing team and duos with my best friend and travelled all over the US.
When I saw that Newsies! was coming, it was a natural fit for me to dust off my skills and see about getting on stage again. When the cast list came out, we were all so excited! The experience was more than we ever could imagine. Our family got to see how everything works and we got to do it together. I got to watch my daughter on stage in her first part. I got to watch my husband in his first acting/singing role (and he was amazing!). And I got to dance on stage again (and even had some lines!)!
The FOA has provided us with a new group of family and friends. We have always loved what the FOA stands for; a celebration of the arts. But, the FOA has been more than just the arts for us. We have had the opportunity to meet so many new people and experience so many new things! If I could encourage anyone to do anything, it would be to get involved with the FOA. Your life will change for the better! It has changed mine and I couldn’t be more grateful!
February Artists: ACcreative Club
This group of Annie Camp rockstars did a great job painting a set piece for our recent production of Newsies! The ACcreative Arts Club is a club facilitated by Ms. Rippy and Mrs. Wilson that allows Annie Camp students to become actively involved with community and school based visual art projects, while introducing the students to volunteering and collaboration. We love community collaborations and so appreciate all the work they put in! Thanks to these students and their Art teachers for sharing their time and talents with us and the audiences who came to enjoy the show!
Student quotes about the project:
“I enjoyed working with my clubmates the most.”
“I enjoyed painting the trees and highlights.”
“I also enjoyed working together and getting to paint.”
“I liked the sky how it started with the red then went all the way to the yellow against the mountain to make a sunset.”
“I enjoyed creating the mural together and painting the sunset.”
“It was fun to paint something for the FOA!”