Local notables to lip-sync battle for charity

Christine Hein and Bryant “Drew” Andrews.

If karaoke makes you cringe, then you’ll be relieved to know there is a new way to enjoy all the showmanship of amateur singing minus the amateur’s usual inability to stay anywhere near on key.

Several of Ulster County’s more notable couples will battle each other in a war of mouthed words to benefit both People’s Place Food Pantry and Thrift Store and the Center for Creative Education arts education center. The 2017 Ulster County Lip Sync Wars will be held on Thursday, Oct. 12 at 5:30 p.m. at The Chateau in Kingston.

Performers include Kingston Mayor Steve Noble and Julie Noble; Kingston Police Chief Egidio Tinti and Elisa Tinti; Sheriff Paul Van Blarcum; Terri Lee and Jay Misasi; Brianne Olsson and Joseph Maggio; Lisa Lynds; Barbara O’Brien; and Eva Tenuto and Julie Novak of the TMI storytelling project.

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The evening will be emceed by the statuesque Lady Esther Gin. Energy Dance Company and executive directors Bryant “Drew” Andrews of CCE and Christine Hein of People’s Place will be dancing throughout the evening. The show will be juried and the winning couple will be dubbed 2017 Ulster County Lip Sync Champions

“Once our two non-profits built a relationship, our strengths became clear and great ideas began to emerge,” said Hein of the unexpected collaboration between the two seemingly unrelated organizations. “We felt that teaming up to do a mutual event made sense. We combined our resources and energy to create an entertaining, fun event that will benefit the community. It shines a light on both organizations, giving exposure to a broader audience. It is awesome to have an event that people know helps both agencies.”

People’s Place’s mission is to “feed, clothe and respond to the essential needs of the people in Ulster County with kindness, compassion and the preservation of human dignity,” according to Hein. She said the mission of Center for Creative Education is to “enrich the social and cultural awareness of our youth and community through arts, wellness, and education.”

“The focus is to use art to bring attention to social issues within our community, which fits in with the mission of People’s Place,” Andrews said. “The purpose of using art is to serve our community, and that is in collaboration to bring more attention and resources to organizations like ours, and People’s Place. Art engages the community and makes it more inclusive. Working collectively toward a common goal of serving our community the best that we can.”

Andrews was concerned about the 1.2 million kids potentially losing after-school programs with the possible federal budget cut of $1.8 billion to the National Endowment for the Arts. That endowment funds the New York Council for the Arts, so locals would be deeply impacted; CCE serves 1,800 area kids a year with those funds. “We want people to know and to speak up, we want people to know and how it affects our children and adults directly — especially with the after-school programs and accessing affordable and local arts and education — because we teach a lot of life skills and literacy through our programs — the communities we serve and the communities People’s Place serves. It would deeply impact how we serve them.”

Tickets are available at peoplesplaceuc.org. For more information about this event or any of the 18 programs offered at People’s Place visit www.peoplesplaceuc.org or www.facebook.com/PeoplesPlaceKingston.

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