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Featured Performers: Cindy Bracker and Dave Sturm in The Nutcracker, A Kansas Ballet

Owners of Brackers Good Earth Clays in North Lawrence, Cindy Bracker and Dave Sturm are not just your average members of the arts community.

Known for their big personalities and loved for their even bigger hearts, these long-time supporters of the Lawrence Arts Center are also dedicated adult students in the School of Dance. Over the years, Cindy and Dave have become staple performers in the Arts Center’s Nutcracker, A Kansas Ballet. Over the long history of Kansas-themed Nutcrackers at the Arts Center, both Cindy and Dance have assumed a variety of roles, Dave as Senator James Lane and an iconic Mouse King, and Cindy as historic temperance figure Mother Opal and an extraordinary Mouse Queen. Together, they gave memorable performances as legendary Lawrencians Mary Ann and John Brown, Dave sporting an impressively real 18-inch beard. Fittingly for two such iconic performers and members of the arts community, this year these two Kansas Nutcracker stars portrayed Mr. and Mrs. Stahlbaum, hosts of the party where Little Clara receives her Nutcracker toy, setting the plot in motion.

Cindy and Dave lend their talent as performers, but they also give time, expertise, and resources to both the School of Dance and the ceramics education program. They are key advisers on ceramics equipment, and step in regularly to support a variety of Arts Center programs such as the Ceramics Symposium and ceramics education. Recently, the School of Dance urgently needed to relocate their large and fragile studio mirrors to a satellite space, and Dave stepped in to provide the space without question and at only a moment’s notice. School of Dance Director Hanan Misko speaks for us all: “You just can’t help but be inspired by Cindy and Dave’s enthusiasm for all art forms. We are so grateful to them for sharing so much of their time, resources, and talents with us. They say it takes a village, and Cindy and Dave really take this to heart. We are so lucky to have them as part of the Lawrence Arts Center!”