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State of the Arts

Educators have long recognized the value of music, art, drama and writing for students' creative development and academic success. Yet the arts remain squeezed by tight budgets and test-driven performance standards. This series highlights efforts to protect and promote school arts programs.

Art Walk Homage to Award-winning Artists

At Century Park Learning Center, a riot of color swirling like a Chihuly tangle of glass sprouted all over the school. The inspiration for students: picture book illustrations found in Caldecott winners. Rainbow-beaked birds like toucans dangled overhead, like Richard...

‘She will fill your bucket if you are empty’

This art teacher provides a solid skill base, then encourages her students to infuse their work with elements of their own lives. And she shares her own, which she says creates a safe space for them to reflect...

Speaking Poetry Helps Students Share their Hearts

Katie Mitchell could have picked from a range of interesting topics to share with classmates, but she choose the one closest to her heart. The Crossroads Middle School eighth-grader picked tragedy. As part of a spoken-word poetry workshop held at the...

At Home on the Range

"Zinga, zinga, zinga, zoo." "Higher ... now higher ... still higher," said vocal teacher Linda Tata. The boys repeated the melodic phrase in higher and higher tones -- and then lower and lower -- until each reached the end of his...

Art Award Tradition Continues for 35th Year of Excellence

Northview High School sophomore Nick Ensing's drawing depicts a colorful, detailed royal court, staffed by doe-eyed kings, queens and jesters. Junior Ellie Haveman's photo is of a girl's face, simple, shadowy and pure. Both pieces are Representative's Choice winners for ArtFest...

‘World-Class’ Band Program Thrives on Community Support

Drive down 36th Street SW between Buchanan and Division on a fall day, and the sound of trumpets, trombones, clarinets, flutes and drums fills the air. As it does every year on the field outside Godwin Heights High School,...
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Frosty the Snowman, in concert

Students from Kettle Lake Elementary in Caledonia sing "Frosty the Snowman" in English and Spanish, from their recent holiday concert...

‘Free to Try, Free to Do Your Best’

For some students, inspiration came from a science teacher's lesson on the expanding universe. For others, it was reading "To Kill a Mockingbird" for the first time. And for others, it was finding their voice in the school choir. Many...

Students Jam On, with Plenty of Moxie

Forest Hills Eastern High orchestra students joined forces recently with The Moxie Strings for a night of upbeat contemporary music. But before they did, they spent time jamming together at school. Moxies violinist Diana Ladio and Alison Lynn on electric...

Playing in Tune with Giving Hearts

Elizabeth Catlin tentatively plucked a few notes on a violin after eighth-graders McKenzie Watkoski and Presley Avery showed her how. The she gamely played along with a blues tune played by the student orchestra, which had come to entertain...

Haunting photo of ‘classy’ young woman takes top prize in Congressional competition

Nick Ensing’s photo “Classy,” taken of his good friend Mariah Jennings, was named grand prize winner and will hang in the U.S. Capitol for a year

Drama’s back, and students are ready to act

After five years without a program and, now, with a renovated auditorium, a stockpile of props pulled from storage and two enthusiastic new hires, Kelloggsville High School theater has been resurrected...

Catch a falling star & put it in your heart

In a visit to Valley View Elementary School, Patricia Polacco, the award-winning author of over 100 children’s books, told students a true story about wishing on a falling star -- or wishing for a better world...

Revived Program Attracts Student Artists, Musicians

From imaginative paintings and sculptures to soothing songs and a silky sax solo, Union High and Westwood Middle school students recently shared their artistic talents at the third annual Westside Celebration of the Arts. The evening featured student artwork that...

Student mural takes learning out to the hall

When the the art class moved into new semester, students who preferred painting to other media took to decorating the hallways

District Talent on Full Display at Art Show

The work of K-12 artists created a huge collage of talent on display recently during the District-wide Art Show. Many mediums were showcased, and high school artists worked on pieces while parents and students watched. Editor's Note: State of the Arts:...
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