Smalls raises her voice for Boys & Girls Club

in Arts by

Marlena Smalls — internationally known as a Gullah entertainer, educator, and historian and as Bubba’s mom in the movie “Forrest Gump” — is presenting a benefit concert for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Beaufort Area, May 19 in the gymnasium of the Beaufort Club.
“Why wouldn’t I be a part of saving the Beaufort Club?” Marlena Smalls asked. “I live here and I’m at a place in my life when I feel I am needed at home.
“In Beaufort, we make sure we have a beautiful city; we take down meters, change directions of streets, build new buildings and renovate old ones. Out of all the projects we do, the most important commodity this community has is our children,” Smalls said. “That’s where our priority needs to be, that’s where our biggest investment needs to be.  How we guide our children to their future is also how we also guide the future of our city and region.”
The Marlena Smalls Benefit Concert will be held Saturday, May 19, at 7 p.m. in the newly renovated gymnasium of the Boys & Girls Club of Beaufort (1100 Boundary Street.) Tickets are $35 a person and include drinks and hors d’oeuvres. You can pay at the door or call Liz Vallino, special events director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lowcountry, at 843-694-3197 to reserve your tickets.
While Smalls is using her vocal talent to help out the club with a concert, she also plans to house her newly formed artistic program for children there.  Her program, called “Kids North of the Broad,” or KNOB, is a venue for her to pass on artistic knowledge to future singers, writers, photographers, dancers, actors and visual artists.  This program is Smalls’ way to ensure the artistic expression of the Lowcountry continues.
KNOB is an integrated program for children ages 13 through 18 that will focus on music, writing, visual arts (i.e. painting, photography, etc.), dance and theater. The goal of each class is to produce a theatrical production at the end of each seven-month session.