SPAN @10 speech given by Mrs. Sarah Boulos

SPAN Gala Night_Photography By_by Akara Ogheneworo_Top Nigerian Concert Photographer_32                                              “Life without industry is guilt; industry without art is brutality.”

                                                                                                        –John Rushkin

Imagine our life in Lagos not filled with a LAGOS HERITAGE FESTIVAL, a MUSON CENTER FESTIVAL, a school band or Theater Dance Performance, a SARO THE MUSICAL, a TARUWA NIGHT, a JAZZ HOLE or SERIES CONCERT, a LAGOS FASHION SHOW, or a SPAN FESTIVAL.

Lagos would be brutal and simply lifeless!

WE CANNOT OPERATE OR CONTINUE TO BE PRODUCTIVE WITHOUT THE INVOLVEMENT OF THE ARTS, AND ESPECIALLY ART EDUCATION IN ALL OUR SCHOOLS! The arts have a crucial impact on our economy and are an important catalyst for stimulating creativity, learning, discovery, and achievement in our country.

Today, ten years after, I stand before you proud and honored to have been given such a gift from God and to have witnessed hundreds of artists lives changed because of SPAN. I’m humbled by the numerous success stories that are imbedded in our communities, and the bright future ahead of us.

SPAN, from a garage in Ikoyi, to 100 sqm2 in Banana Island. Our path has grown to now occupy a three-story building in Lagos Island, where over 100 students come every day to develop their performing arts gift, to realize their dreams.

Sarah Boulos, SPAN Board of Directors and SPAN Executive Team

Sarah Boulos, SPAN Board of Directors and SPAN Executive Team

The last decade has been such an exciting and thrilling journey, and I am very proud to see that SPAN has inspired the creation of healthy communities throughout Lagos and has changed lives; SPAN members and affiliates have started their own vibrant performing art studios and businesses, and are getting employed by major performing art productions and events.

It is also today that I RECOGNIZE the patrons of SPAN who have listened to our needs and supported us with their DIAMOND PATRONAGE for TEN YEARS.

ITB Construction, SCOA Nigeria PLC, CHELLARAMS, CoolFm/CoolTv, Strachan Partners, D-United foods, 7up PLC, Eko Hotel & Suites

ITB Construction

ITB Construction receiving a plaque

 SCOA NIG PLC

Dr. Massad Boulos, SCOA NIG PLC

Mr. Chellarams

Mr. Aditya Chellaram receiving on behalf of Chellarams Plc.

On behalf of Strachan Partners

Mrs. Muna Iyanam on behalf of Strachan Partners

Mr. Nodin Churston - 7up Plc.

Mr. Norden Thurston – 7up Plc.

Thank you.

 “Art is a nation’s most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and to others the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.”

 –Lyndon Johnson, on signing into existence the National Endowment on the Arts

To embark on our next decade, I would like to recognize our board of trustees in the persons of:

Pastor Wale Adeferasin, Pastor Olufunmi Olajoyegbe, Dr Yemi Johnson (SAN), Dr Massad Boulos, Mr. Gabi Massoud, Mrs Muna Iyanam, Mr. Adithya Chellarams, Mr. Patrick Koshoni, and Ms Evita Moussalli, along with me will be entrusted to insure our organizations mission and vision is brought forth.

The next decade of SPAN will give you a vibrant and sustainable community center, a state of the art performing arts center with a training academy of excellence, and a theater in the new Eko Atlantic city that will bring our nation to the forefront of the entertainment industry of West Africa.

I will personally continue to work hard and advocate for the arts in our nation, demanding tax relief for all corporations and individuals who support the arts financially as it s a crime not to provide our children with a wholesome future and develop the creative minds of our nation.

Ladies and gentleman embark on this journey with us, make a difference today by supporting us to build span performing art center, sponsor a SPAN student from inception at SPAN all the way to the Lebanese American University for his/her performing arts degree, or simply donate to life changing programs in the art.

Thank you.

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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SPAN/IDO dance battle, a part of SPAN@10

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The SPAN/IDO (International Dance Organization) Salsa competition and the 9ja Dance battle which Started in 2010, is an event all dance lovers aspire to be in attendance.

Who can ever forget the gravity defying leaps? The graceful turn of the hand during a salsa styling move or just the simple beauty of dance?

ikem ohia and antonia slim and ginger sly and zara taiwo and nneka

It’s here again, as part of the SPAN@10 celebrations.

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A direct quote from the IDO president

“…come 2016, the winners will be taken out of the country to compete on the worlds stage. they will be entered in the Hiphop and Salsa categories.”

Dance crew (1 of 1)-31 Dance crew (38 of 39) DSC_0626

Do you have a dance crew or you’re a spectacular salsa dancer? you still have a chance to participate…contact the SPAN offices now

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VENUE: Ocean View, Eko Hotel and Suites

TIME: 3pm

23rd of April 2015 is not a day to be told… you NEED to be there!