POAC shines spotlight on northern stars

By Cameron Rasmusson
Reader Staff

You’ve never seen some of the community’s talented locals like you’ll see them at Pend Oreille Arts Council’s Northern Stars Rising show.

The latest showcase of artistic talent by POAC, the event is somewhat of a departure from the arts organization’s recent offerings. According to Hannah Combs, POAC director of events, the council’s events have lately focused on bringing in out-of-town acts, from dancers to folk musicians and more, that community members wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to see. With Northern Stars Rising, POAC officials aimed to create an event that highlighted local talent.

“We realized the last couple years that one of the ways we weren’t fulfilling our mission was … we never put a big emphasis on showcasing local performers,” Combs said.

Seven weeks ago, POAC officials held auditions to find local performers for Northern Stars Rising. The result is a diverse collection of performers highlighting the best in local musical, vocal, dance and spoken word talent.

“The lineup we put together is pretty exciting,” Combs said.

Jazz, opera, classical, blues and folk are among the musical genres covered throughout the night, while local dancers will perform pieces they recently honed for competitions. The performers include a host of recognizable faces and acts, like Pend Oreille Piano Trio, Truck Mills, Paranormal Daves, Bel Canto Opera, Piano Jazz Annie and Gems Company Dancers.

For Combs, Northern Stars Rising is both a celebration of local artists and a thank you to the community for supporting POAC. When it comes to keeping Sandpoint a vibrant arts town, local support is the lifeblood that brings in extraordinary music, movies, performers and artists from around the world, she said. To that end, Northern Stars Rising begins with a reception as a show of gratitude to POAC supporters.

Pend Oreille Arts Council’s Northern Stars Rising is a night you won’t soon forget, and it all takes place Friday, March 23, at the Heartwood Center, 615 Oak St.,. The reception begins at 6 p.m., while the performance itself begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $13 for POAC supporters and $10 for individuals 18 years of age or under. Visit artinsandpoint.org for tickets or more information, or call 208-263-6139.

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