default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Youth Arts in Action annual Fairy Tea focuses on Russia

Teresa Khan MacKay is not an ordinary mother.

She's lived and worked as a fashion designer in cities all over the world, from London to Paris to New York. She trained as a Montessori teacher when the idea of raising children consumed her and has taught memory and accelerated learning techniques as a right brain specialist. She's the executive director of Youth Arts in Action, a nonprofit organization to "inspire, educate and sponsor outstanding young artists." And her four children happen to be world-class dancers.

Sons Nicholas MacKay and Julian MacKay are both students at the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow Russia. Daughters Nadia Khan, 21, and Maria Sascha Khan, 23, dance in Munich, Germany, with the Bayerisches Staatsballett, or Bavarian State Ballet.

Having her children follow each other into the world of dance is something she actively fought against.

"I avoided that," she said during an interview at the Chronicle this week. "I am the anti-dance mom."

"She said ‘somebody needs to be a lawyer,'" Julian said.

Julian, 14, will graduate in three years. Nicholas, 11, said he was a "guinea pig" for the school, enrolled as its youngest American student at the age of 9. He'll finish in another six years, or simply "a long time," Teresa emphasized.

Teresa lives with her sons in Moscow, making sure they eat and sleep between a hectic six-day-a-week Bolshoi schedule. She follows them to performances, secretly taping in the back of theaters across the city to document their journey.

Her husband, Gregory, remains in Bozeman.

"I'm holding down the fort with the dog and the chickens," he said.

Teresa puts it in perspective, saying that he has traveled for 12 years for work and it's a blessing he gets to live and work in Bozeman now.

The holiday break is time for the family to enjoy time together, for the boys to spend time with their friends back home. But before she can enjoy it, Theresa has a fundraiser for a couple hundred people to pull off, the annual Fairy Tea.

The tea is set for Jan. 7 at 1 p.m. at the Gallatin Gateway Inn.

"I love fairies and beauty and art," she said. "If they're all in one event, I'm happy."

Aside from all the planning and logistics, she spends hours the day of the event designing each table for the afternoon tea with fairy scenes. They range from flowers to underwater themes, complete with living fish.

And she does it all for free.

"I'm actually a volunteer," she said.

That way, the money raised then goes to the kids and to putting on the next event.

The kids helped by Youth Arts in Action are not only talented, they have also proven in some manner that they could have a career in their chosen field, Theresa said. The organization does, however, focus on Montana.

Requests come from all over, Teresa said, especially because her sons are at the Bolshoi.

"They have an opportunity to blaze some trails and show the way for others," Gregory said.

The organization is unique in that it gives cash scholarships. Many artistic programs will offer tuition and other scholarships, but not allow for living or travel expenses, or even help with costumes or instruments.

At least one award will be announced at Saturday's tea.

This year's tea is Russian themed, falling on the Russian Christmas Day. It features music, a presentation on Russian character dances by Julian, Russian handicrafts including Matryoshka, or Russian nesting dolls, art prints by Russian artist Nicholas Roerich, other items old world artisans at the famous craft markets of Moscow, and treats including Turkish Delight.

"There are so many really good Russian sweets," said Julian, who lugged a suitcase full of Turkish Delight on the trip back to Bozeman.

Willa Devlin, 9, will pass on her Fairy Queen crown and will play the Snow Maiden, daughter of Russia's traditional Father Frost at the Fairy Tea. It's a rite that epitomizes the mentorship aspect of Youth Arts in Action.

"I think some of the little ones look up to her," mom Aimee Devlin said.

As for Teresa, she has received a commendation from Gov. Brian Schweitzer for her efforts.

"I want to commend and thank you for all your efforts to make opportunities in art available to young Montanans," he wrote. "Your commitment is inspiring."

Though her busy life has its downsides, Teresa remains the biggest supporter for her children to pursue their dreams, even if she would prefer to have them all in one place for a while.

"I'm a mom, Ok?" She said. "I just want everybody together."

 

 

© 2014 Bozeman Daily Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Unlimited Access

The Chronicle allows readers to view only seven articles for free each month. To make sure you have unlimited access to the best local news, purchase a digital subscription for just $6.95 per month.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle welcomes public comments on stories, but we do require you to abide by some ground rules. In general: be polite, don’t post obscenities, stay on topic, respect people’s privacy, don’t feed the trolls and be responsible.

Comment deleted? You can discuss comment deletions by writing to comments@dailychronicle.com.

comments powered by Disqus

Rachel Hergett

Get Out Editor

Connect with us

Events

Calvary poster

‘Calvary’ is a well-acted and bittersweet Irish tragedy

At the beginning of “Calvary,” Brendan Gleeson’s Father James is told in confession that he will be killed. The man on the other side of the booth explains that he had borne years of sexual abuse at the hands of a priest, and even though he can’t revenge himself on man responsible, he will after one week kill Father James instead. Father James’s innocence is immaterial. In fact, if anything, it’s even better. “I’m going to kill you because you’re innocent,’ he says.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ is improbably hard to mock

First we had the “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” and now the “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” What’s next, the “Midmorning of the Planet of the Apes” followed by the “Light Lunch of the Planet of the Apes?” And, eventually, the “Late Afternoon of the Planet of the Apes?”

The Giver Movie Poster

‘The Giver’ isn’t quite like the novel

The last year or so was improbably saturated with narratives about kids in dystopias. Bolstered no doubt by the success of the “Hunger Games” (the third installment, the awkwardly titled “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1,” is out in theaters now), movies like “Ender’s Game,” “The Maze Runner,” “Divergent” and even, to a certain extent, “Vampire Academy,” tried to capture the same metaphor: being a teenager is a lot like being the Chosen One in some futuristic fantasy world.

Latest Movie Trailers

Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made Of

An emotionally open and honest film portrait of the biggest boy band ever, THE BACKSTREET BOYS, who take us through the highs and lows from boyhood to manhood that led them back into a London studio in 2012 to write

The Duke of Burgundy

A woman who studies butterflies and moths tests the limits of her relationship with her lover in this mesmerizing, critically-acclaimed drama from director Peter Strickland (Berberian Sound Studio).

The Imitation Game - Featurette

During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to investigate a reported burglary. They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charges of ‘gross indecency’, an accusation that

Still Alice

Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease, Alice and her family find their bonds thoroughly tested. Her struggle to stay

Unbroken - Featurette

Academy Award® winner Angelina Jolie directs and produces Unbroken, an epic drama that follows the incredible life of Olympian and war hero Louis “Louie” Zamperini (Jack O’Connell) who, along with two other crewmen, survived in a raft for 47 days

Black November

A volatile, oil-rich Nigerian community wages war against their corrupt government and a multi-national oil corporation to protect their land from being destroyed by excessive drilling and spills. To seek justice, a rebel organization kidnaps an American oil executive and

The Chronicle's online calendar is a community events listing created by users who upload events to the website. It is separate from the printed calendar. To submit events for the print calendar, write to getout@dailychronicle.com.