CLINTON -- When 9-year-old Makala Anderson messed up her sign-up form for Karaoke Idol in Clinton, she thought her pop-star dreams were dashed.
To assuage her tears, Makala's father rushed back to her school to get a new form, and the crisis was averted.
Friday night's free event, organized by the budding Clinton Community Arts Board, was one of several art-centered activities the group has put together on a shoestring budget.
But for Makala and other Clinton-area youths, the Karaoke Idol event was a chance to shine.
"I'm a good singer," Makala said. "And I really want to be on 'American Idol.' "
The month of April marks the one-year anniversary of the arts board, a group passionate about bringing the arts to Clinton.
"We really started with nothing," said Board President Laretta Beesley, a Clinton resident for more than 30 years.
"We live on volunteers and donations. But even though we have no money, our programs are great."
In the past year, the board has hosted a concert and a movie in the park, a chalk-art festival followed by an art auction, a youth acting class, a fall community dance, a Christmas sing-along, and a snow and ice festival in the spring.
Attendance at the events has been decent, Beesley said, but it has been tough to get notifications out to the community on such a limited budget.
In March, Beesley made a formal request to the Clinton City Council to invest in at least one community marquee that could be used to advertise community events.
The arts, Beesley said, is one thing that can really bring the community together and expose people to new artistic experiences.
"My kids are involved in sports, and it's been great," she said.
"But you need more than sports. The arts are getting left behind. We need to make sure we don't lose the arts and dance and theatre ... the things that bring a community together."
Makala's father, Jason Anderson, agrees that events centered around the arts are important because it ties everyone together.
And, he added, "It's kind of cool when it's where you live."
The Karaoke Idol is one of four events planned in conjunction with Clinton's Heritage Days, held in July.
Another Karaoke Idol is scheduled for Friday, May 13. Then on June 10, tryouts for Clinton Idol will be held as a qualifying event for the Clinton Idol finale, to be staged during Heritage Days.
Susie Rasband attended karaoke night with her husband, Brian, and two sons, Tyson, 2, and Mason, 3.
Rasband said that, although they live in Syracuse, they always try to support Clinton events. In addition, she said, they are always on the lookout for good, family things to do.
"It's free and has a good, family atmosphere," Susie Rasband said. "We always look for that."
The Clinton Community Arts Board recently was approved for a small grant for the coming year. It's a $2,000 grant through the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, with funding from the state and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The board has plans for a children's choir, a harvest festival dance on a full-moon night, a larger Christmas event and other events.
Clinton Community Arts Board Vice President Glenda Swallow, who has lived in Clinton for more than 15 years, said she envisions a local arts program that keeps growing.
"There's a lot of talent and ability in our community, but they have to go elsewhere to embrace it," Swallow said. "We would really like to provide that locally."
For more information on the Clinton Community Arts Board, visit the city's website at www.clintoncity.net.