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April 8, 2010

Silver Quill to sponsor community art night

by Fran Djoukeng, Online Entertainment and Sports Editor
Silver Quill, Blair's literary arts magazine, will sponsor an art auction on April 10 from 6 - 10 p.m. at the ArtSpring Store located at the corner of Ellsworth Drive and Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring. The night will include an art auction, live performances and food from local eateries.

ArtSpring, Pyramid Atlantic's art store, sells handcrafted local artwork. Wylie Conlon
ArtSpring, Pyramid Atlantic's art store, sells handcrafted local artwork.
The four-hour fundraiser will feature several events, including a silent auction and student performances. "People see different art pieces and they put down their bids and at the end of the night the highest bid wins," Silver Quill sponsor Miriam Plotinsky said. "In addition to that we also have performers reading their poetry, singing music and we have food."

The cost to attend is free, but donations will be accepted. In addition, the organizers will sell old issues of Silver Quill. Baked goods as well as food from Whole Foods Market and Lebanese Taverna in downtown Silver Spring will be provided at the arts night.

Silver Quill Managing Editor junior Ale Mantovani is organizing the event and will co-host the night along with Silver Quill Editor-in-Chief, senior Emily Jones.

Meeting in the Media Center, the executive staff of Blair's literary magazine Silver Quill discusses magazine sizes and fonts. Lauren Poor
Meeting in the Media Center, the executive staff of Blair's literary magazine Silver Quill discusses magazine sizes and fonts.
Mantovani's primary responsibilities include advertising and community outreach. "I'm reaching out towards all different local, residential businesses or school organizations, forums and listservs, trying to get donations for the event and trying to get people to perform, trying to get people to read poetry," she said.

The arts night will include poetry readings by artists featured in this year's edition of Silver Quill, "Ink Track," and musical performances by other Blair students. "Pretty much all of it's going to be Montgomery Blair talent," Mantovani said. "A lot of the artists that are featured in Silver Quill will come and read some of their work, so it's like a preview of the magazine."

Silver Quill organizers hope to make more money than last year's fundraiser, which brought in $1,200 for the organization. "It's kind of difficult because this year we aim to make more but last year was before the recession hit," Mantovani said. "So, not only were local businesses more generous in their donations but people just walking into the store from Ellsworth were much more generous about the cause."

The Silver Quill staff has put more emphasis on the fundraising element especially with the high publication costs. "Funds from the night will go towards the publication of "Ink Track" because our publisher has doubled the price," Mantovani said. "A lot is riding on this fundraiser."

The literary arts magazine's theme this year will be "Ink Track." Courtesy of Silver Quill web site
The literary arts magazine's theme this year will be "Ink Track."
The arts night was also envisioned as a way to boost magazine sales which have been lagging because the magazine is no longer included with the yearbook or senior package. "Our distribution has gone down from 1200 books to 300 just because we don't have that support anymore," Plotinsky said. "So everything we are doing we have to pay for by doing fundraisers and it's much more challenging."

The venue for this year's art night was selected because of Mantovani's relationship with the ArtSpring Store, where some of her artwork is sold. "It's right at the corner of Ellsworth and Georgia, so it's a pretty big space on both sides. It's all windows," Mantovani said. "We are going to have a lot of music and performances at the front of the store which will hopefully bring people in."



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