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K-12 Celebration of the Arts Festival – Lake Region

June 9, 2012

Days of exhibits and performances

The arts educators of Lake Region School District, MSAD #61 (Bridgton, Casco, Naples, Sebago) go all out each year to provide the opportunity for students to exhibit art work, perform musical and dance selections. A real showcase of student accomplishments of the standards. I had the chance to visit for a small part and I am glad I did!

District Fine Arts Coordinator Jenni Null shared some of her photos of the event that was held on May 30 and 31st. The two day Festival, held at Lake Region High School includes

  • precorder players
  • a Dance Showcase (LRHS)
  • LRHS Pops Concert
  • LRMS Gr. 6 Band
  • tours of the exhibit for all Gr. 3 students during the day led by LRHS art docents
  • demonstrating artists: potter, spinner, quilt maker, rug hooker, painter, and
  • a spectacular array of art from students in K-12!

There were opportunities for students to engage in hands on activities: hat making, t-shirt screening (the 2012 Arts Festival Logo), face painting, & card/book mark making with stamps. One highlight of the event was the life like recreations of Grant Wood’s American Gothic & Edvard Munch’s The Scream. In both works, the faces were cut out, so people could stand behind the works and literally become a part of the paintings. The event was a huge success, judging by the number of students who were still talking about it the next day and still donning their face paintings and silk screened shirts.

Dance teacher Carmel Collins invited me to the two day event and I attended on the night of the student dance performance. Below is Carmel’s description including a photo of the event.

The opening number, “Party Rock Anthem,” echoed the spirit of the festivals words, “Celebration of the Arts.” Students ranging from grades 6 through 12 entertained their audience with dance styles ranging from hip-hop to theatrical to modern dance. Each performance bringing with it a new story, a new energy, a new thought and may be a question or two.

Interspersed between the performances, slam poets engaged the audience with their artistic, rhythmic verses of pain, love, anguish and joy, in true slam style fashion. Their words ringing circles of questions and retrospection. Slam poetry has grown rapidly over the recent years since its introduction from language arts teacher, Lucinda Stein.

Her vision and energy has enthused and inspired students to write deeply, honestly and passionately about life, love and loss. This new addition to the show highlights how important and integral the literary arts are to the field of the arts as a creative and expressive art form.

A show of course would not be complete without the lights and sound from our talented and creative Mr. Eugene Long and his assistant for the evening, student Ethan Strain. From a solitary spotlight to subtle hues of greens and blues, to the dazzling oranges and yellows, the lights and music brought the show to life and to the audience.

The evening concluded with student Kelsey Wilcox wishing everyone to leave with the message of the finale, “ A Good Feeling” by Flo Rida. In costumes that sparkled and dazzled under the lights echoing the word “Showtime!” students and teacher, Carmel Collins gave the last performance of the evening to a very appreciative and receptive audience.

The Dance Showcase initially began as a solitary event during the school day for grades 9-12. However, over the past nine years since its conception the Dance Showcase has grown to become an evening event, has expanded to include grades 6-12, and has become an integral part of the districts K-12 Arts Festival. The new dance/multipurpose studio will be completed in the fall of 2012 offering students the continued opportunity to explore and experience the challenging, creative, and expressive art form of dance.

The dance program has brought joyful, challenging, new and familiar experiences to our students, as one of our newest and youngest additions to the program commented,
“Iʼve had fun with the dance showcase. Itʼs given me a chance to expand my skills in dancing, as well as allowing me to step outside my comfort zone and do things I never thought I could. The most amazing thing, though, is the friends Iʼve made through the showcase. Iʼm normally a shy person, so getting to know the other dancers was awesome.”    Talya Bartlett, freshman

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