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Andi Moring, Smith Fine Arts Series program assistant, helped ready the items for the Embrace the Music online auction which starts Nov. 11. Early registration starts Nov. 2.

MONMOUTH — Free registration starts on Nov. 2 and bidding starts Nov. 11 for the “Embrace the Music” online auction.

The auction benefits the Smith Fine Arts Series at Western Oregon University.

Up for auction and just in time for the holidays will be a variety of fun socially-distanced experiences, luscious desserts, original works by local artists, and one-of-a-kind gifts including artisan foods and craft beverages.

Bidding runs for five days and culminates in a livestream program featuring entertainment and special guests.

Event proceeds support quality performing arts experiences for those in the mid-Willamette Valley — through world-class performances at WOU’s Rice Auditorium, as well as smaller-scale, free educational outreach events led by visiting artists with WOU students, K-12 students, and the greater community.

SFAS, which stages performances by world-class artists about six times annually, paused the 2020-21 in-person performances to keep patrons, artists and staff safe during the pandemic.

During the short hiatus, the SFAS board and staff will focus on securing the program financially so the program can continue bringing exceptional performing artists to Monmouth for years to come, as well as providing outreach activities to the Mid-Willamette Valley community. Revenue loss from ticket sales and the elimination of a student-fee grant that provided nearly a third of its budget, the SFAS is being challenged to adapt to a new landscape.

About the Smith Fine Arts Series

The Edgar H. Smith Fine Arts Series provides quality performing arts presentations for the mid-Willamette Valley community and supports the community service and educational missions of Western Oregon University. In addition, SFAS presents workshops for university students; performances and discussion for elementary and secondary schools, and informal lectures and demonstrations for the wider community. The series was created in 1976 by Dr. Edgar H. Smith, a leading arts advocate and educator, to inaugurate the opening of Rice Auditorium.

For more information, visit wou.edu/smith.

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