4th annual Big Band Ball and Silent Auction set for March 20

The Taylor Cultural Arts Commission (TCAC) is one of Taylor's best-kept secrets. In fact, many people are unaware that there even is a Cultural Arts Commission or know its mission even though they may have enjoyed the very same cultural events and programs that the commission has sponsored since its inception nearly six years ago.

Among those events and programs is the group's annual Big Band Ball – and it shouldn't be a secret any more.

The fourth annual Big Band Ball, this year dubbed "Swing into Spring," will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 20 -- the first day of spring -- at the Grecian Center, 16300 Dix-Toledo Road, Southgate.

The evening includes a sit-down buffet dinner, dancing to the orchestrations of Metro Detroit's Larry Huntington and the Skyliners, the sounds of the local hit duo Girls' Night Out, a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle. A membership drive for the Taylor Friends of the Arts will also kick off at the event.

"If you're familiar with and like the music of Harry Connick Jr., Michael Bublé or the Brian Setzer Orchestra, then Swing into Spring -- the Fourth Annual Big Band Ball is a perfect evening out for you," said Erika Geiss, co-chair of the Big Band Ball Committee.

"It's also an excellent venue for anyone who has taken salsa lessons at the Taylor Recreation Center or any other ballroom dance classes and wants a chance to practice some more or show off their moves," added Committee Co-Chair Sue Kuschel.

The co-chairs said that they recognize that the current economy has reduced the amount that people are spending on an evening out, which is why the committee voted to keep the ticket prices the same as last year's, and added a discount for senior citizens and students. Ticket prices are $45 per individual, $80 per couple and $35 for seniors (55+) and students with identification. Discounts are also available for purchases of tickets of full tables of eight.

The TCAC's annual Big Band Ball is a festive, fun evening and is one of the key events that allows the group and its non-profit fund raising arm -- The Friends of the Arts -- to sustain and produce such programs as the annual scholarship for high school seniors, the Taylor Community Chorus and shows like the fall 2009 dinner theater production of My Way – A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra, as well as supporting Taylor's Ballet Americana's hosting of the 2010 Mid-States Regional Dance Festival to be held later this spring.

The Fourth Annual Big Band Ball is a perfect way to swing into Spring and to start the spring season off on the right foot and with a good note by helping to support the cultural arts in Taylor. Event sponsors are needed, as this event is one of the the commission's and Friends of the Arts' highlights of the year and is an excellent opportunity for businesses and others who are looking for creative ways to give back to their community.  Information about becoming an event sponsor or for donating goods and services for the silent auction is available at www.taylorarts.org/whatsnew.php.

Tickets are on sale now. Purchase tickets in person with cash or check at the Taylor Parks and Recreation Offices or by calling (734) 374-3906 during regular business hours. To charge tickets by phone, call Kuschel Studios at (734) 287-6318.

About the Taylor Cultural Arts Commission and Taylor Friends of the Arts

Founded in 2004, the nearly-6-year-old group has the mission and goal to promote advancement of the arts in the City of Taylor. To date, the group has produced a variety of cultural events, including supporting and encouraging students who intend to pursue arts-related careers with an annual scholarship for high-school seniors in Taylor. The TCAC/FOA vision includes bringing different types of cultural arts to the city, including classes, displaying art exhibitions, musical, dance and theatrical productions and more. The groups are composed of a group of citizens with varied backgrounds who have a deep interest and commitment to sustaining the cultural arts. Along with the help and guidance of the director of the city's Department of Golf, Parks and Recreation, the commission seeks to enhance the lives of people in the community through enriching experiences in the cultural arts.