LACONIA — In the character of "Nascimento", magician, Larry Frates will bring magic with a message to the schools in the city in a series of performances from January to March sponsored by the Putnam Fund.
Along with the magic, Frates, a former teacher at Laconia Middle School who owns and operates Frates Creative Arts Center, will draw on his talents as a cartoonist, storyteller and puppeteer, to entertain while addressing timely issues confronting his audiences. For example, some shows will tackle bullying and substance abuse while others will aim at making choices, encouraging reading, inspiring creativity and nurturing talents. He said that teachers and students will participate in the interactive performances.
Frates said that he offered the schools a menu of options and they chose the topic. Programs have been offered to Laconia High School, Laconia Middle School and all three elementary schools — Pleasant Street, Elm Street and Woodland Heights — as well as Holy Trinity School.
"I'm local, the Putnam Fund is local and the schools are local," Frates said. "The shows are designed to the specific needs of Laconia."
Since 1962 the Putnam Fund, originally endowed by Perley and Ellen Putnam, has sponsored musical, theatrical and other cultural events without charge to residents of the and its environs. Jim Rogato, a member of the advisory committee of the fund, said that the fund has always sought opportunities to work with the schools. "We're always looking for a need," he remarked, "for ways to provide enrichment."