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story.lead_photo.caption Scene One Theatre will host a canvas painting fundraiser with local artist Meghan Vossen July 8-9, 2020.

It's never too early to celebrate Christmas — and Scene One Theatre in Jefferson City is giving people the chance to do so in July.

The theater will host a canvas painting fundraiser with local artist Meghan Vossen at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and July 9. The fundraiser is an effort to raise money for Scene One's day-to-day expenses that took a hit during the pandemic.

"Like many other people, Scene One is just now getting back into the swing of things," said Mark Wegman, founder of Scene One. "With the pandemic, we missed a couple of shows."

The theater was set to have a March, May and June show. None of those shows had the chance to take center stage. Their first production will now be at the end of July.

But it's also a chance to get creatives together to — safely, and while social distancing — share their love for Christmas and art.

This will be the first time Scene One is hosting a canvas painting fundraiser. The idea was brought to them by Vossen's father, Ron, who was ready to direct the May show, "Barefoot in the Park," before it was postponed until next year.

Vossen, creator of the hand-lettered designs of Magpie Mo sold on Etsy, said she appreciates the chance to be part of the fundraiser. She's been holding canvas art classes for some time, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, much of that has been put on hold. Her father, a close friend and colleague of Mark and Tracy Wegman, suggested Scene One do the canvas painting fundraiser as a way to offer something different.

"My dad knew I could do it, and he wanted to bring an idea to Mark and Tracy for something different, as far as the usual fundraiser," Vossen said. "We all kind of just said, 'OK, let's try it.'"

For $30 a person, participants will have the chance to recreate the Christmas in July painting shown on the flyer. In roughly two hours, Vossen will offer instructions, painting on the background, the trees and the vibrant red truck. Vossen said she knows what it's like to walk into an art class and feel overwhelmed — that's why she's taking it step by step. And though the base idea is the same, the 16-by 20-inch canvases participants will take home will have their own unique characteristics.

The event will be family-friendly with a low difficulty level. Wegman himself will "take a stab" at the canvas — "and I'm not a very good artist at all," he joked. "I think it's probably pretty easy."

It's Vossen's first opportunity to teach since the pandemic temporarily halted the arts. She said she can't help but be a little bit nervous.

"Every time I do a class, it's always a little bit of nerves, just because I want everyone to have a good time and end up with a piece they really enjoy," she said.

She said she hopes the canvas painting class can be a "somewhat normal" moment in time — the class will look a little different with social distancing, but it's a good opportunity to get out and see some people.

"And to get that creativity out again," she added.

"I hope that they take away a sense of community," Wegman said. "After this whole pandemic thing, or even while it's still going on, we're still trying to thrive."

Vossen will be instructing participants how to recreate the painting, but the calligraphy seen on the flyer will be an extra. Most people are not comfortable enough to create their own calligraphy. For an additional donation back to Scene One, Vossen will gladly paint the words onto the canvas herself.

Upon arrival at the theater, at 623 Ohio St., attendees should expect to see some creative masks, whether they're homemade or store bought.

The event flyer encourages starting your art early by wearing it on your face — among other door prizes, the most creative mask of the evening will win a shout-out and a prize. There will also be hand sanitizer available.

"We're definitely encouraging people to wear a mask. That's our way of saying 'please wear a mask' because we're going to give a prize," Wegman said.

Reservations for the fundraiser event are required, and tickets are $30 per person, including supplies. Wegman encouraged those interested to reserve by Monday so supplies can be adequately provided. You can reserve your spot by calling 573-635-6713 or emailing [email protected] Reservations can be paid by check or cash at the door.

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