For Cynthia Engelgau, attending this year’s West Sound Arts Council’s tea party is all about the students who will be receiving scholarships.
But she can’t wait to see what fashions have been created.
The annual event, where several local high school and community college students are awarded scholarships from the arts council to be used to pursue art education, is set for Saturday. It’s a combination of a tea party, fashion show and silent auction.
And this year’s theme is particularly interesting.
“It’s the Mad Hatter’s High Tea and Fashion Show,” said Engelgau, president of the council. “Because tea and fashion goes together.”
For background, according to organizers, the Hatter, also called “Hatta” in Through the Looking-Glass, is a fictional character in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the story’s sequel Through the Looking-Glass. He is often referred to as the Mad Hatter. The phrase “mad as a hatter” pre-dates Carroll’s works and the characters the Hatter and the March Hare are initially referred to as “both mad” by the Cheshire Cat, both first appearing in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, in the seventh chapter titled “A Mad Tea-Party.”
At this year’s event Alice and her friends are expected to “crash” the tea party in their up-cycled and vintage fashions and put on a fashion show.
While the theme changes year-to-year, the event always has a fashion show and most years, those fashions are of the recycled nature.
“One year the fashions were made from old VHS tapes, paper bags and newspapers,” Engelgau said. “It’s always fun to see what they come up with.”
Her favorite was the dress that was made from dog food bags.
“It’s just amazing what these artists can do,” she said.
Those who contribute to the fashion show are members of the council, or local artists that support the scholarship work that is done by the West Sound Arts Council.
The main scholarship fund is a memorial scholarship named for a local artist, Tony White who had an art gallery in Bremerton named the “Metropolis.” White died in 2004. Since it was started, others have added to it. The family of a former recipient of the scholarship, Carrie Brazeau, who died recently at 28, has added to the Tony White Fund to help other young artists wanting to go to school.
This year, about $3,500 will be awarded in scholarships to seven students and those awards will be made following the fashion show.
Additionally, Mayor Patty Lent and former Bremerton Mayor Lynn Horton are expected to be in the fashion show. Local musicians, the Stodden Girls, will sing.
And, at the end of the fashion show, there is a scheduled visit by the Queen of Hearts, who is expected to proclaim, “Off with their heads,” as in Alice in Wonderland.
This year’s event is April 26, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Bremer Student Center at Olympic College in Bremerton. Parking is available and tickets can be purchased at Silverdale Antiques and the Bremerton Parks and Recreation office.