Arts Day for young creatives

Fourth graders at Arts Day

Lynn Mellis Worthington

Arts Day for young creatives

Fourth graders from all of the schools in Region One gathered Wednesday, March 6, at the independent Kent School to expand their artistic horizons.

It was the 28th year that Region One has held Fourth Grade Arts Day, and this year’s event was coordinated by Kent Center School music teacher David Poirier. He quickly pointed out, however, that it was a team effort involving all of the art and music teachers in the region. He also saluted Geoff Stewart of Kent School, chair of the performing arts department and director of the theater.

The school donated the facility and provided lunch, and many faculty and staff donated their time to assist. It was the second year that Kent had hosted the event. Previously it was held at The Hotchkiss School.

“We want to inspire students to take more interest in the arts in general and just see how many different possibilities there are,” Poirier said. The elementary schools have strong visual arts programs and music programs but the Arts Day expands their view of arts.

“Here we’re really opening the door to lots of different things and maybe redefining what the arts means in general for them.”

This year’s workshops included 10 different offerings that ranged from shadow puppets to Broadway-style dancing to “My Shot” from Hamilton. Artists were compensated for their time through the Region 1 Arts Fund.

The workshops were: needle felting with Jen Markow; shadow puppets with Susan Aziz; spud stamps with Blake Myers; cardboard sculpture with Henry Klimowicz; Ukrainian eggs with Lisa Marsan; Intro to Hip Hop with Starr Jeffries; a day of Broadway with Amber Cameron; drum circle with Kate Main; ribbon dance with Dance China; and creative movement for the stage with Heather Holohan-Guarnieri.

After a welcome from Superintendent Lisa Carter, there was a showcase performance from Dance China. With colorful costumes, the dancers demonstrated four different dances, including the Lion Dance, which involved the four-legged costumed creature venturing into the audience to the delight of the youngsters.

A second showcase performance was by Kent-based musicianJohn Galusha, who performed beatboxing.

Story courtesy of Kent Good Times Dispatch.

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