POP Arts offers community

On Saturday, Nov. 3, the Power of Performing Arts organization held their second showcase of the year, titled “Who Will You Be?” POP Arts is a diverse group that seeks to provide a wholesome and fun experience to individuals affected by disabilities, regardless of their age. The Jonesborough-based group offers many volunteers and service-learning students from ETSU an opportunity to give back to their community in a fun, creative way.

This semester’s show was based on careers that cast members would like to explore in the future, anything from surgeons to zookeepers. Actors would come onstage in groups to perform skits of the daily lives of the people in these professions, adding in a touch of comedy for the audience. Each skit was somewhat unpredictable because the script and actions varied in each performance, but cast members kept the show based around the general theme.

“The most important thing about POP Arts is that everyone feels included,” said Anthony Wallace, an ETSU student and POP Arts volunteer. “We make sure everyone leaves with a smile. In today’s society, you don’t see a lot of inclusive behavior, so it’s nice on a Saturday to come do POP Arts. You’re like, ‘I feel great!’ for the rest of the week. Once you’re here, the family feeling just comes on, and I can’t tell you how many times I have left ugly crying in my car, just so overjoyed.”

These sentiments are felt by the families of the cast members.

“One word- awesome,” said David Andrews, whose daughter has been a member for four years. “All these participants just look forward to their time off, from week to week, Saturday to Saturday, between semesters. It’s ‘Hey, when is POP Arts again?’ I hear it from all the parents.”

“It’s such a joy just to begin with,” said volunteer Stephanie Fraley. “There is so much happiness and enthusiasm. I can just forget about everything and come and hang out with amazing, beautiful people who are just so kind and so joyful. That’s why I do it.”

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