Interview with Sarah Boulos on SPAN@10 by Tamo Iruene

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When a web search of organizations that support youth, dozens of websites will lead you to resources for enterprise, entrepreneurship and even football.  But what of the youth whose experience in sports leads them to feelings of failure? Or those that can never create anything with their hands to save their lives?

Do the same web search of organizations in the performing arts and find…. very, very little.

A vibrant Theatre Arts presence in a community brings other benefits as well.  It can bring in tourism  – and a steady cash flow to business owners.

The Society for The Performing Arts in Nigeria (SPAN), a performing arts institution that combines Nigerian cultural traditions with world-class training, creating a platform to nurture and release creative potential in art, dance and music has been in existence for 10 years.

10 years that have not been without their challenges, their highs and their memorable moments.

Sarah Boulos in her capacity as Founder and Chairman of The Society for the Performing Arts in Nigeria has trained and or contributed to over five hundred individuals in the professional field. SPAN has showcased and partnered with over 100 NGO’s and Mission work as well as provided on a yearly basis over thirty jobs in the entertainment industry.

In a No Holds Barred interview with Mrs. Boulos, she had this to say

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SARAH BOULOS

Why did SPAN start?

Because it was needed and I was ready to serve and today the industry is soaring with professional performing artists hired and owning private businesses. SPAN, BORN OUT of a GOD GIVEN VISION IS PURPOSE DRIVEN AND PURPOSE DRIVEN MISSION are ignited because of a need and the need is to educate and present performing artists  to provide them with job opportunities and present their art and for children to develop themselves in an area of education that is missing in Nigeria.

Was it difficult being accepted by Nigerians?

It was as first when we started but as much now because the Nigerian community can now see the benefits of the performing arts and what it brings to the community, like new job opportunities , a better and healthier lifestyle, a creative energy in the economy, a positive outlook on our city and A reduction in the poverty line.

What challenges did you face?

To build awareness and educate the audience that this project is very much-needed in our society and industry.

At the beginning, banks did not take me seriously and now they are hiring and sponsoring my student programs. Fundraising was also a major challenge and now it’s a lot easier, people are considering sponsoring the arts!!

What is different now…from 10 yrs ago?

Because the industry has opened partly due to our work, there is more hope to see a performing art center built and a place for young people to learn and develop themselves and pursue their career in the performing arts because of our success stories in the Industry.

THE STIGMA, THOUGH STILL PRESENT IS NOT AS STRONG!

Do you regret any of the decisions you made then?

No, only when I get tired and desire to quit then a young child gives me a flower or I receive an encouraging word from one of my students then I know how precious and needed my services are.

What would you do things differently if you had the chance?

Yes I would, in certain areas of communication and who I partner with but in general the journey is necessary in every dream as we must learn lessons in order to grow

What does SPAN @ 10 mean to you in a nutshell?

A place where our citizens are educated , entertained and inspired for more through the performing arts .

What do you expect the show to accomplish?

The show will reinforce our vision and the need to develop more educational programs and to build a place to accommodate students and citizens to explore the wonders of the performing arts.

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TIMI DAKOLO, DJ XCLUSIVE JOIN GORDONS, YINKA DAVIS, ICE NWEKE, OTHERS FOR HISTORIC LOVE MUSICAL

love is 2014

Critically acclaimed Soul singer Timi Dakolo and superstar music-man DJ Xclusive will bring Lagos alive on November 2, 2014, as they join comedian Gordons, singer Yinka Davis and a host of others for this love musical.

The event is organized by Limitless Minds Africa in conjunction with Cool fm and Oracle Experience Limited. ‘Love Is…the Musical’ holds at The Eko Convention Centre, in Lagos on November 2, 2014.

Additional highlights of the night will be special appearances from popular OAPs like Mannie and ZOE.

To be hosted by TV personality Andre Blaze, the extraordinary show will showcase exhilarating performances from internationally trained dance professionals from around the world.

The show is created and directed by Ice Nweke. The inspiring intimate story is a clear portrait of the lives of three beautiful women on a journey in search of the true meaning of love.

Ice Nweke has successfully merged the world of Realism, Expressionism and Surrealism into one beautiful masterpiece on various stage globally.

Produced by Clementine Vervelde, the musical is a richly textured stage production that captures the deep-rooted insecurity in relationships, which is currently spreading into the fibers of our society.

Other special guest artists include Ranti Ihimoyan, Donna the Poet, Sheila, Efe Paul and Sasu, Frank Konwea and Kay Strings.

According to the director, ‘the musical is a polished production, with classy costumes and stunning vocals. Advance theatre: Comic and dramatic, Sensual and lyrical, acrobatic, Romantic and ultimately inspiring dance moves’.

Dance is often the best way to express your emotions and feelings; Love is the show is a combination of music drama and spoken words all in the endeavor to give a definition to the word love. Ice added.

Love is…the musical will be an evening of amazing music, dance, poetry and the greatest of it all, LOVE.Critically acclaimed Soul singer Timi Dakolo and superstar music-man DJ Xclusive will bring Lagos alive on November 2, 2014, as they join comedian Gordons, singer Yinka Davis and a host of others for this love musical.

The event is organized by Limitless Minds Africa in conjunction with Cool fm and Oracle Experience Limited. ‘Love Is…the Musical’ holds at The Eko Convention Centre, in Lagos on November 2, 2014.

Additional highlights of the night will be special appearances from popular OAPs like Mannie and ZOE.

To be hosted by TV personality Andre Blaze, the extraordinary show will showcase exhilarating performances from internationally trained dance professionals from around the world.

The show is created and directed by Ice Nweke. The inspiring intimate story is a clear portrait of the lives of three beautiful women on a journey in search of the true meaning of love.

Ice Nweke has successfully merged the world of Realism, Expressionism and Surrealism into one beautiful masterpiece on various stage globally.

Produced by Clementine Vervelde, the musical is a richly textured stage production that captures the deep-rooted insecurity in relationships, which is currently spreading into the fibers of our society.

Other special guest artists include Ranti Ihimoyan, Donna the Poet, Sheila, Efe Paul and Sasu, Frank Konwea and Kay Strings.

According to the director, ‘the musical is a polished production, with classy costumes and stunning vocals. Advance theatre: Comic and dramatic, Sensual and lyrical, acrobatic, Romantic and ultimately inspiring dance moves’.

Dance is often the best way to express your emotions and feelings; Love is the show is a combination of music drama and spoken words all in the endeavor to give a definition to the word love. Ice added.

Love is…the musical will be an evening of amazing music, dance, poetry and the greatest of it all, LOVE.

A SEASON FOR AWARD & REWARD 2013: CELEBRATING 15 AWESOME YOUNG NIGERIANS –

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INK MARKS in collaboration with SPAN [The Society for Performing Arts Nigeria] during the course of the summer holidays organized two workshops [REEL KIDS 2 and I HAVE A SPEECH] for young people, aged between 10 and 18 years, drawn from public and private secondary schools in Lagos State.
 
The REEL KIDS 2 WORKSHOP was a fun but intensive three week (15 days) workshop that incorporated the art of film making with music to educate children, improve their language skills and encourage them to ‘own knowledge’. The kids learnt Civics, Literature and English Language using songs and music videos. They were encouraged to write their own songs and participated in shooting a music video. This music video will be shown to them for the very first time at the Award Day along with the presentation of awards based on their performance during the Workshop.
The Eight (8) Reel Kids Awards to be presented are:
· Reel Kids All-Star:   To the best overall performer by class assessment;
· Most Inspiring Reel Kid – to the child who worked the hardest to overcome initial challenges;
· Best Team Player – to the Reel Kid [not designated a team leader] who was quick to help    whenever anyone needed support or encouragement; 
· Best Music Video Concept;
· Best Original Song
· Best Team Leader
· Best Behaved Reel Kid
· Original and Creative Reel Kid
 
The I HAVE A SPEECH Workshop was more intensive but still lots of fun: a speechwriting competition that teaches young people about Leadership and Character while enhancing their reading, writing and communication skills. The challenge was for the thirteen workshop participants to write a speech on Leadership for Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, wife of the Governor of Lagos State directed at young people to be delivered on the occasion of Nigeria’s 53rd Independence Anniversary celebration.
 
The ten-day workshop also included classes on speech delivery, the art of presentation, the psychology behind presentation and body language. On the final day of the workshop, the participants presented their speeches before a panel of judges who then decided on and announced the TOP 4 presentations without revealing their order of merit.
 
At the Award Day there will be seven (7) awards for the I Have A Speech Workshop:
 
The overall winner and the placements of the three runner-ups in the TOP 4 will be announced. The three other awards to be presented are:
 
·         Leader amongst Leaders Award – for the overall best in class assessment;
 
·         Best Behaved Award – for the most winning attitude; and
 
·         Most Inspiring Award – for the participant who had challenges but struggled through them and worked hardest to improve.Image