CSA 2012 Finalist: Lora Mason

"She sews from start to finish on all the "Nutcracker" costumes and we have more than a hundred dancers of all ages, sizes, and shapes!," says Wendy Stotts, with Jonesboro's Foundation of Arts.

She's talking about our July CSA Finalist Lora Mason, who was using her sewing skills sparingly at home until she saw a need at the local community theater.

"And then "Nutcracker" happened and I came on, and I tried helping for a year. Then they realized I could use a machine and they put me to work and I've just grown with the program," Lora says.

"Lora took on the huge responsibility of our costume shop. Closet doesn't even begin to define what exists there," Stotts says. "We have a list of what we call our "go-to" people, but Lora rises even above that in her willingness to take on this role which is almost a staff role, a non-paid staff role."

A non-profit, publicly funded organization, Jonesboro's Foundation of Arts operates the arts center, offering instruction in the arts to all comers, regardless of ability to pay. staff member Wendy and volunteer Lora are dedicated to the arts, but that isn't all they have in common.

"Lora was a liver recipient a couple of years ago and I was a breast cancer survivor," explains Stotts.   

And as the next generation of actors, dancers, and artists prepares for their roles, Lora and the other volunteers pave the way.

"I don't see what I do as that big of a deal. It's something that I enjoy and something that I saw way back needed attention done to it," Lora says.

Lora continues to run the costume closet despite not always feeling her best.

"Even though I might not feel like it, I had a draw to do it, just to be a part of what they were doing and be a part of their lives," explains Lora.

"We couldn't do it without her," Stotts says.

The Foundation's summer musical "Oklahoma" just closed last week, and preparations for "Nutcracker" will begin soon.

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