An Argument for the Arts

By Susan Bradford

The arts are very important to our society and can be critical in developing and maintaining mental health. If you search “How do the arts benefit society?”, there are a plethora of articles regarding the positive impact the arts have on our personal, professional and social experiences. Studies have even shown that music itself is an important key to unlocking the minds of Alzheimer’s patients. Music therapy is used to reach out to people with brain injuries, and even some coma patients have shown brain wave responses to music ( If you think back to some of your fondest memories, chances are there is a song, a certain smell, or a color strongly associated with it; think of the smell of your favorite cookies baking in Grandma’s kitchen or your mom humming a favorite song as she worked around the house. These connections are all based on our very human need for the many forms of art. Luckily, we have many of these arts and activities close to home in Stevens County.

Upon moving to Stevens County, I have been delighted to discover that you don’t have to drive to Spokane for a wide variety of entertainment in various arts. It is just a matter of picking a type of event you want to attend, and there are so many to choose from! Each month, I hope to cover events happening locally, as well as the artists and groups of people who participate. We are fortunate to have many talented people in our area and I am excited to introduce some of them here.

Let’s look at one performance happening January 13 at Woodland Theatre in Kettle Falls. Hannah Jackson and pianist Daniel Heflick will be performing several original pieces, as well as some new pieces they have created together. Heflick recently memorized and performed the entire score for Cinderella. The Musical was performed at Woodland Theatre in May 2022. Jackson is currently a freshman at Berklee College of Music in Boston, majoring in professional music with an emphasis on songwriting and performance. She is a graduate of Curlew High School. She has previously participated in theater events at Woodland Theatre, the Missoula Children’s Theatre Program, as well as the Haran Irish Dance Troupe, performing all over the Inland Northwest and even into Canada.

I have seen Hannah perform several times in productions at Woodland Theatre. She is passionate about her connection to music, and enjoys sharing that with others. When Hannah steps onstage, she glows. Aside from her work onstage, Hannah also hopes to participate in directing a children’s program this upcoming summer, a new experience for her. She will also be participating in the Kettle River Music Festival in August. Hannah is co-founder of the festival, serves on the board in several roles including artist selection and scheduling, and designs the artwork for promoting the event.

Upcoming Auditions

Chewelah Center for the Arts, StageTime Theatre School classes begin January 11 (auditions for The SpongeBob Musical, the Youth Edition will be Jan. 18)

Metaline Falls, Missoula Childrens’ Theatre Production of “The Little Mermaid,” January 23

Pend Oreille Theatre, Newport, adult production, “Nunsense,” Feb. 13-14

Woodland Theatre, Kettle Falls, children’s auditions for “Shrek Jr” Musical, April 15 & May 6

Roots and Reflections: An Evening of Live Music, Woodland Theatre, Kettle Falls, Hannah Jackson and Daniel Helfick, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m.


Singer Series Concert, Nothing to Lose Productions, Chewelah Center for the Arts, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m.

Valley PHS Winter Concert, Jan. 24

Deer Park High School Solo & Ensemble Festival, Jan. 28

Jazz on a Winter’s Night, Metaline Falls, Cutter Theatre, Feb. 15

Deer Park High School Jr. Livestock Dinner and Auction, Feb. 18

Colville High School Jazz Festival, March 2-3

Kettle Falls High School Mid-Year Music Concert, March 15

Colville HS Concert, March 22

Colville Junior HS Concert, March 23

Northern Dance Theatre Annual Recital, Colville, June 22-24

Productions, Plays & Musicals

Aladdin Jr., Valley School, Spring 2023

“BEEHIVE” The 60’s Musical, Woodland Theatre, Kettle Falls, March 3-5, March 10-12, March 16-19

“Love, Lies, and the Doctor’s Dilemma,” Chewelah Center for the Arts, Feb. 3-5 and Feb. 10-12

“The Little Mermaid,” Missoula Children’s Theatre, Metaline Falls, Jan. 27-28

“Red vs. The Wolf”, Pend Orielle Players, Newport, March 3-5

The SpongeBob Musical, StageTime Theatre, Chewelah Center for the Arts, The SpongeBob Musical, the Youth Edition, March 31, April 1-2

Pend Orielle Players, Newport, “Nunsense,” April 21-23 and April 28-30

This schedule may not be exhaustive and there may be other events worth mentioning. If you are an artist or know of an event that would be of interest to our readers, please let the South Stevens County Times know so we can include it. We want to ensure that our readers are aware of all the local events happening in the area.

It takes many participants to create a show, most of whom are volunteers. If you have skills in set building, crafting, sewing, or are capable of working tech such as lights and sound, theaters and event spaces may need you. If you are interested, I strongly suggest you reach out to your local theater, as I am quite sure they will be grateful for the additional help!