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Though butterflies aren’t typically around in January, the College of Southern Maryland is seeking help from the community to fill the front hall of the CSM Fine Arts building with 15,000 hand-decorated paper butterflies.

The butterflies will be part of the CSM theater company’s production of “I Never Saw Another Butterfly.”

Mail bugs

Butterflies can be mailed to H. Keith Hight, Coordinator for Theatre and Dance, College of Southern Maryland, P.O. Box 910, La Plata, MD 20646, or dropped off at the box office in the Fine Arts Center by Feb. 1.

“I Never Saw Another Butterfly” will be performed at 8 p.m. Feb. 14, 15 and 16 and Feb. 21, 22 and 23 at the College of Southern Maryland La Plata campus’ Fine Arts Center.

Butterfly templates are at

The play is a Cause Theater production about the Holocaust.

In addition to the show, the lobby of the theater will be transformed into a mini-Holocaust museum with hand-decorated butterflies representing the 15,000 children who passed through the Terezin concentration camp during the Holocaust.

According to a press release from CSM, when Terezin was liberated, only 143 of the children survived. “I Never Saw Another Butterfly” tells the true story of the children. Butterflies, the release states, became a symbol of defiance, making it possible for them to live on and play happily while waiting to be transported.

Keith Hight, the show’s director and coordinator for theater and dance at CSM, wrote in the release, “Students of all ages, parents and community members can create as many handmade arts-and-crafts butterflies as possible” for the project.

He said the butterfly project itself is simple: sitting down and coloring a butterfly.

In a phone interview, Hight said that like the show, the project is about what it represents and taking a moment to remember those who lost their lives during the Holocaust.

“The show is not about us. It’s about what we lost and the potential we lost,” he said.

Children at the St. Charles Children’s Learning Center at CSM in La Plata were using colorful tissue paper to decorate butterflies for the project Tuesday.

Early childcare teacher Stephanie Windsor said when she talked to her students about decorating the butterflies to be displayed in the Fine Arts Center as part of a show, they were excited to be a part of what the adult students were doing.

Windsor said her students feel so much more a part of the college when they get to take part in such projects. The youngsters covered their butterfly templates with glue and carefully selected pieces of tissue paper to place on top.

Hight said there are many different ways to decorate the butterflies and the only rule is that no food or glitter can be used.

Templates for the butterflies can be found at the CSM website, and submissions can be sent to the fine arts department of the college no later than Feb. 1.