My name is Blake Hampton, I am from Northwest Kansas and this summer of 2014 I am an intern for Ogallala commons. I am a college graduate from Butler County Community College in El Dorado, KS with an Associate in Music. So my focus for this internship is going to be involved with the arts. My end goal is to at least gather enough information to support the argument that rural communities should support music and the arts.

Since my sixth grade year I have been strongly involved in music. Having shown a strong interest in singing; my parents and I found the camp Inspiration Point Vocal Camp in Eureka Springs, AR. I went there for over six years and was a part of five musicals, and one medley in those years. They were some of my fondest memories, and also where I met one of my closest friends.

In high school I was a part of the Consort Show Choir, and a trumpet player in the band. With those experiences, connections with other people in Atwood were created. I was invited to play taps for veteran’s funerals, and also Memorial Day services. I sang the Star Spangled Banner for sporting events. Many opportunities to perform in town were made and I appreciated each one. The Rawlins County High School also had plays that I performed in as well. During those plays strong friendships were made, and I learned many things.

All of the experiences that are listed here have had a positive influence on my adult life. I’m more empathetic with people and their struggles, because of the stories that I have sung and have played in. I’m more organized, I have a stronger desire to learn, I have become a stronger person, but I would have none of those qualities without the arts that were available in Atwood, KS.

In this internship, I hope to learn more about how the arts in the past has influenced others in today’s rural community, and how it will continually be supported in the future.chior

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